Here in Boston where I live, we are gearing up for yet another snowstorm after last week’s pounding — and man, we’re tired!
Shovels stand on our back decks, bags of salt sit by our front doors, and snow pants are draped on bedroom chairs, ready and waiting for us to jump into so we can clear off our vehicles and get to work.
Spring is tantalizingly close, according to the calendar — but the cloudy, cold air all around us hasn’t received the memo.
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While nerve-wracking, storms like this one present us with a rare opportunity to let go of our façade of control.
Cellphones bring us instant connection, cars with geolocation take us where we need to go, and computers make us feel safe, streaming all sorts of data at the click of a mouse.
But the information age is fragile, completely dependent on power, on electricity. When the power goes out, we are left facing ourselves — and our families. We stop and take a breath because we can’t work, can’t commute, can’t be continuously swirling in the daily chaos, much of it of our own making.
When was the last time we realized our kids were so funny, or that the faces of loved ones look especially dear by candlelight, or that board games bring way more laughter than a cheesy sitcom?
When was the last time we let go of worry and played in the snow, or talked to our neighbors as we help them shovel out?
In the midst of a snowstorm, it is with awe and perhaps even relief that we realize we aren’t really in control, after all. God is.
God made the mountains and the valleys, the oceans and heavens, and He made us humans, the small yet beloved creatures that tend toward worry. He is always entreating us to let go of anxiety, let go of the reins, and trust in Him, and perhaps He sometimes uses wild weather to do so.
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The Bible tells us, in Matthew 8:24, of Christ’s worried disciples in a boat on a lake during a frightening storm. Jesus, however, chose this time to catch up on His rest: “And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being covered with the waves; but Jesus Himself was asleep.”
What does this tell us? That even in storms, God is in control. That we should let go of worry and use this time to connect in meaningful ways with neighbors and loved ones. Or, as Christ did — that we should just rest, and enjoy the awesome power and majesty of God’s creation as it is tossed about in the frenzy of a storm.
Deirdre Reilly is a writer and editor based in the Boston area, and a former parenting and family editor at LifeZette.