My mind flashed back to the day before.
Short sleeves and more than a fleeting thought of donning a pair of flip flops.
Barely 24 hours later everything had drastically changed.
But life's like that, isn't it?
Everything is going fine, or at least it's status quo. Nothing monumentally wrong.
Until it all is.
Perhaps like that snow storm it's a million little things all coming together to form a wall that closes you in from every side. Or maybe it's all dumped on you in one fell swoop like an avalanche.
Either way, it surrounds you, engulfs you, threatens to immobilize you.
That was how I felt almost three years ago when my "one word" for the year was trust. It was a year that stretched and grew me in ways I could never have imagined.
And it hurt.
I wouldn't have chosen any of it, but God saw fit to allow me to walk that path.
Now, once again, there's a storm or two brewing in my life. I didn't see them coming at first. I was looking at the horizon and they sort of blew in from the west, but I'm sensing the change in the direction of the wind.
It makes me wonder what kind of trip we're getting ready to go on, my God and me, especially since He never tells me what to pack for these excursions.
Because most of the time, it's more about unpacking.
Fears, hurts, anxieties, doubts, needs, attitudes, assumptions, prejudices.
It's a pretty long list.
But while He unpacks me, He never leaves me empty.
Instead of the baggage I would choose to bring along, He hands me a suitcase full of...Him.
Grace, mercy, peace, love, understanding, guidance, faith, trust, joy.
It's a pretty long list too. Infinitely longer than mine because, well, He's infinite.
And He's divine.
No surprises for Him. He saw the storm coming. He knew change was on the horizon.
He knew who would exit my life and who would enter. He knew, and knows, the good, the bad, and the as yet unknown to me.
That unanticipated snow storm stopped as abruptly as it started. The clouds parted and the sun returned.
The scenery was beautiful.
Yes, life's like that.
When we're in the midst of it, we can't see anything but the storm.
But the winds eventually change. The sun emerges from the curtain of clouds.
When we can see clearly again, we realize the storm has changed the landscape.
Nothing ever remains the same. But God.
No one enjoys going through hard things. I'm not running toward those storms on the horizon with open arms excited to see what they'll bring. I know how painful change can be most of the time. But I also know how faithful my God is, and that He can bring beauty out of ashes.
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.