Be thou the rainbow in the storms of life. The evening beam that smiles the clouds away, and tints tomorrow with prophetic ray. ~ Lord Byron
I like to walk in the morning listening to the Bible app. The sun comes up bringing light to me and the day. I also go to the gym several afternoons a week, but the morning walk is my favorite exercise. It’s a habit I find refreshing and energizing.
Last week the price of gas rose ridiculously because of a pipeline leak. I hadn’t filled the car, so I planned to stay home unless absolutely necessary. I changed my schedule and rode to the gym in the morning with Matt, saving my walks for the afternoons.
I like another app . . . the Weather Channel. One day in particular it said there would be rain most of the day, starting at 9:45 A.M. Even though I had just been to the gym, I headed out for my walk to avoid the rain.
I left the house with a sun visor on my head. The sky was sunny and blue, a warm breeze blew, rain was nowhere in sight. I made the first loop around the neighborhood noticing that the blue sky was being invaded by large, white, puffy clouds. No problem, those aren’t rain clouds.
I started onto the second loop and noticed gray wisps of cloud rising from the woods to the south. Halfway through the nearly mile-long loop, the wind picked up. The sun hid behind the darkening clouds.
As I came around again, I noticed four dark birds circling in the sky over the south woods like ominous warnings. The trees swayed in the wind, the day grew dark, and I turned north to home. It was 9:40.
The week before I spent away at a writer’s retreat. I had a deadline, needed to correct some issues with the newest book, and I was looking at other writing avenues of income. It was a good week spent writing, contemplating, reflecting, and studying God’s word. I felt strong and encouraged.
The last day of the retreat I headed to the hot tub for a break. As I waded into the warm water another woman moved over for me. We started talking about things to do in the area.
“We’ve stayed in all week,” she said. “Our grandson was murdered two weeks ago and we just needed to be still and recover.”
That night as we headed to bed my husband received an email from a friend of ours. His wife left him. He’s hurt, confused, angry, alone.
The next day we packed up and headed home. On the way we received a telephone call. Another couple we are friends with was contemplating separation.
I looked on Facebook . . . and a relative split with his wife and child.
The next morning during worship I found out that a friend’s niece committed suicide, leaving two very young children alone in the world.
There was no weather app to tell me that those storms were coming. The sky was fair at the end of my retreat with God; all looked calm. That’s the thing about life’s storms . . . They don’t show up on radar. They don’t get announced. They aren’t usually predicted. You go out into the world with your sun visor wrapped snug on your head, and then you find yourself drenched by a hurricane.
[box] “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise.
The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps.
The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’
Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’
“‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived.
The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’ “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’
“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour. Matthew 25:1-13 NIV[/box]
Hopefully you are already prepared for that final day, but how are you faring during the stormy days that rage around you now? Are you prepared, having spent time with the Lord beforehand? Face the storms strong and encouraged. Be a wise virgin.
“He replied, “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.” Matthew 16:2-3 NIV