Waiting on Irma
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” James 1:2-3
Every muscle in my body is crying out for some rest. I have spent the last 10 hours preparing for the arrival of Irma. Cases of water have been moved from the garage to the laundry room. Christmas decorations have finally been stored in the attic. Outdoor patio furniture has found a new home inside the house. Plywood has been lifted and tacked up outside to protect our windows. The floors have been vacuumed and swept (why I felt the need to do that I really don’t know). Loads of laundry have been washed and folded. A supply of nonperishable food has been purchased.
A few more errands remain for tomorrow, but as of right now, we have done all that we can in order to prepare for the largest hurricane we have ever faced in our 18 years living in Florida. So, we wait. We wait not knowing what the next four days will bring us. We wait to hear whether we will face tropical storm type winds or full force hurricane ones. We wait for Irma to decide which way she is going to go and how much fury she is going to unleash across the state of Florida.
Waiting in the unknown is not easy. Facing unknown and uncontrollable challenges produces a wide range of reactions from people. Panic was palpable and rapidly spread around us on Tuesday. Stress swirled in the air and was clenched tightly in balled up hands and tightly strung shoulders. Words of anger and frustration spilled out from worried filled individuals in grocery lines and gas stations. Freaked out friends sought solace for their fears by repeatedly asking “Should we stay or should we go?”
James tells us to “count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” Hurricanes have a way of testing your faith. Facing a major hurricane has a way of making you realize how little control you actually have over this life. No matter what I do, I cannot stop the wind or the rain that is coming my way. The only thing I can do is to prepare and then rest. I need to rest in the knowledge that the God I love is in control. I need to rest in the truth that no matter what happens through these hard days of preparation, storm, and recovery, God will work to build in me a steadfastness of faith that is complete, perfect and lacking in nothing.
I am currently eerily calm in the face of an unknown storm, not because I am in control, but because I know God is and I am counting on Him to see me through whatever comes my way.
Joy comes not from the absence of hard times, but from the presence of faith in hard times.
Be praying for all of us who live in Florida and are enduring the biggest hurricane this state has ever faced.
Between a husband, 2 sons, and teaching high school my sanity is found in running and Starbucks. I have a circle of running friends who inspire me to be authentic and real as I live a life of faith before them.