A God for the storms of life
I have just returned home from a walk with our two wet but happy dogs . In less than an hour I have experienced a range of weathers from heavy downpour to glistening sunshine. I want to focus on the changes in the wind I have experienced during this short expedition : first a gentle welcoming breeze inviting me to enjoy its sensitive touch on my face. As I entered a field a stronger wind augured rain and I prepared by covering my head. Soon horizontal rain was hitting my face sharply. After a couple of minutes, the rain died down and a beautiful rainbow appeared as the sun broke through again. I found my way into the wood and saw the spiralling dance of leaves as small whirlwinds caught them. I noticed limbs of trees torn off by storms and still waiting to be collected for firewood. I walked home enjoying the embrace of a gentle wind again.
So much changes around us including the weather and the wind, and so continually. Nationally and internationally these are also times of exceptional change and difficulty. How do we keep balanced and ‘on course’ when we are buffeted by strong winds? How do we strengthen our connection with God, be open to all that nourishes us and helps us be grounded in the ‘storms’ of life’. We know God as the Faithful and Unchangeable one. How can we secure ‘our anchor’ in the Holy One? Each one of us will develop our own ‘first aid kit” and ways of praying which sustain us. The challenge is to engage with these practices also when our lives are really stormy.
One possible way of praying is to become more aware of our inner storms (anxiety, fear, confusion….) , breathing deeply into that emotion and imagine receiving God’s peace in that place. God is in charge. Just like in that boat on a stormy night on the Lake of Galilee. (Mark 4.35-41).
The Hebrew word for breath, also means wind and Spirit, ruah. We can imagine inhaling God’s Spirit with each breath we take. This understanding can add new dimensions to our walks!
When you come to the Bield again you might want to explore new ways of praying for all seasons and wind conditions. Just ask.
"let your hope make you feel glad, be patient in the time of trouble and never stop praying" Romans 12:12
"When things in the world are troubling, our need is not to join in the chaos, but to cleave to the peace within. The only way to gain power in a world that is moving too fast is to learn to slow down. And the only way to spread one’s influence wide is to learn to go deep. The world we want for ourselves and our children will not emerge from electronic speed but rather from a spiritual stillness that takes root in our souls. Then, and only then, will we create a world that reflects the heart instead of shattering it.” - Marianne Williamson, The Gift of Change