Storm Chasers

It can be a frightening thing when you see yourself in things your children do and say.
This realization came one evening while Reagan and I were out driving.
We were sitting at a red light, headed to Kroger, when like an army of ants, three local police officers go zipping by.
Pre-teen Jill perked up and immediately thought, “Ooh!  I wish I knew where they were going!”
My thoughts were interrupted by Reagan’s 10 year old voice saying, “Come on mom!  Let’s follow them!”
I kicked into Magnum PI mode, our Honda Odyssey I’m positive turned into Kit from Knight Rider.
Unfortunately, we lost the cop cars.
Stupid 6 cylinder.
Defeated, we changed our route back to Kroger, all while memories of me begging my mom to chase any emergency vehicle we passed with lights and sirens blaring flashed across my mind.

Standing in praise and worship a couple of weeks ago, we were singing “Fierce” by Jesus Culture and one line in particular came to me with a new meaning
Like a hurricane, that I can’t escape
Tearing through the atmosphere, Your love is fierce.
Storms can be so devastating.
So relentless and life changing.
The wildfires of California and Pigeon Forge.
The handful of unbelievable hurricanes we had this summer/fall left an indelible mark especially the small state of Puerto Rico.
Tornadoes, mudslides and tsunamis don’t care who you are.
Their mark knows no boundary.
I’ve also always had a fascination with storms too.
I have many memories of sitting outside watching dark clouds roll in and lightening light up the sky as thunder roared overhead.
I’ve secretly wanted the exciting life of a storm chaser.
Being like Helen Hunt in the movie Twister would be a rush like no other.
When it comes to storms, both physcial and spiritual, our first instinct is to run and hide, and protect at all costs.
You chase me down, You seek me out.
How can I be lost when You have called me found?
What if the storm was sent for our benefit?
NOT the thing I think of most when I’m going through a storm or a trial.
“Wow!  I’m super excited that I’m going through this pain!  What a blessing it is to hurt like this!”
Um.  Said no one.  Ever.
For reals, though.
Did you know that forest rangers actually set intentional fires to parts of their forest to stimulate new growth, recycle nutrients, and restore ecosystem health?
It’s called “controlled burn” and I couldn’t help but see a connection with this and the phrase “lean in” that I feel God has laid on my heart for this year.
What if instead of running away from hard situations, hard relationships, and discomfort, we leaned into them instead?
What if the fire or storm you are going through right now is only preparation for what God has for you next?
What if, what feels like unredeemable devastation is the ground being tilled for a miracle to take place in your life?
Coming face to face with whatever you are dealing with right now, and with the boldness that God promised us in Hebrews 4:16, we declare God’s grace and mercy in our time of need.
He didn’t call us to tuck tail and run.
To say, “Hey good luck to y’all.  Lemme know when this crap is done.”
He called us to authority.
He didn’t call us to be “storm hiders.”
But God chasers.
Ones who lean in and lean on the One, with a heart full of thanksgiving and anticipation, know full well that He finishes what He starts.
phil 16

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