There's a saying in our snow country, that you know a storm is over when the snow starts falling from the trees. As I write this blog, the trees have been heavy and laden down with snow the last several days. There's more snow on the way. The weather man confirms it, telling us it could be 10 to 15 more inches. Sometimes I have to wonder how much more the boughs can take before they simply break; and sometimes, now and then, they do. Especially when an early snow hits, and the trees aren't prepared for the winter yet.
That's what happened in Buffalo, NY when we arrived a few years ago, the week I learned to drink coffee (but, that's another story). An early snowfall, the worst storm to hit in mid-October in a hundred years. The trees couldn't handle the burden, the weight, and the branches snapped, causing no small amount of problems. Power lines fell, roads were blocked, electricity shut down throughout most of the city. Life came to a wintry stand still. All our events were cancelled. It was cold and there was no way to get home. All this because the trees weren't ready for the storm...
We're quite a bit like those trees. Storms almost never hit when we're expecting them. The harder they hit, the more difficult it is to stand firm, unwavering in faith. When the snow flies, we feel laden down, heavy-hearted, and unable to carry on. We stand frozen in a black and white world, and wonder if we'll make it through to the sunshine. The probabilities are good that the sun will break through again...it's just easy to forget when it is sooooooo cold, and sooooooo dreary, and we feel soooooo overloaded with the weight.
But, unlike the trees in our yard, I can do a few things to ready myself for the storms to come. I can remember that storms are inevitable, and not be caught off guard. I can position myself so that in the midst of it all, I can catch glimpses of the son-shine about to break through. I can cling to the warmth of truth that comes by remembering what the Son has to say about storms and how to stand steadfast in the storm.
For when the Son does shine, the heaviness is lost, and all that remains is sparkling beauty, like glistening diamonds falling from his hands. I'm looking for the diamonds. You?
This continues to be God's call for me as I march steadily into this new year...to see the sparkling diamonds of his glory as he slips them from his hand on my behalf. As I am privileged to behold his glory, I'm discovering, even in the storms, an ability to hang on, even when the weight of hardship is straining. Yes, I'm trying to focus on the diamonds. I'll ask again, are you?
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
…In Thy presence is fulness of joy; in Thy right hand there are pleasures forever.