Is someone running across my roof? That was the first thought that came to mind as I heard banging and crashing overhead late one night.
My wife was spending some well-deserved time with friends. I had put the kids to bed for the night and had settled in for a nice relaxing evening alone. But suddenly, I was on the alert. What could that noise have been? All my guesses left me confused.
My first instinct was to check my kids. They were still sound asleep, lying undisturbed. My next move was to look outside to see if I could pinpoint where the noises were coming from. This however made me a little nervous. Was someone outside? Had someone been on our roof?
I got a flashlight. Nothing out back. Then I slowly opened the front door.
There was the culprit in a heap in the front yard. It was our shade canopy, the one with the screen on it to keep the mosquitos away, the one that we had covering our patio furniture … in the back of the house!
It had been stormy that night, but I guess I didn’t realize how much the wind had started to blow. It was hard enough that a strong gust lifted the canopy right off our deck and sent it tumbling over our house and onto the front lawn.
My initial reaction was relief, but it quickly turned to disgust as I realized that the short journey had left its mark and that our canopy would be out of commission for a while. At least the mosquitoes were happy.
Looking back, I realize that this whole incident could have been avoided if only I would have made sure that the canopy was secured to the deck. The strength of the deck would have kept the canopy right where it needed to be, unmoved and unharmed.
This is a lot like life. One minute everything seems calm and quiet, while the next minute our lives can be turned upside down.
This is especially true these days. The coronavirus pandemic has filled so many with uncertainty. After months we still find ourselves questioning what will happen with our health, employment, finances, relationships and futures.
On top of this there is so much uncertainty about what will happen to our country. Protests and riots have highlighted deep frustrations and political divisions that make us wonder the year ahead will hold.
If you add these to all the other challenges that we are facing, life can feel pretty overwhelming right now.
If we try to weather these “storms” on our own, they threaten to leave us bitter, broken and discouraged. We need something that will keep us secure; something to hold on to that will help us weather these storms.
King David knew what this was like to live with uncertainty and difficulty. He spent years homeless and, on the run, while people tried to kill him. He had serious family struggles, complicated relationships and even experienced the death of some of his children. But, through life’s ups and downs David kept his eyes fixed on God and trusted that he would get him through even the most difficult hardships and storms.
In Psalm 16:8 David says, “I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.”
God doesn’t promise that he will keep us from experiencing storms in our lives, but be promises that he will be there with us when we do, and that when we trust in him he will keep us grounded and secure.
May you find your strength in the Lord these days and know the hope that only he can give.