God: Working Behind the Scenes

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I stood out in the front yard last night watching the clouds swirl by. A storm was coming. The sky was growing darker by the minute as the clouds rotated in an eerie fashion. Sirens blared off in the distance, a tornado had been spotted in the northern part of our county. Beauty and death danced before me in the clouds, such a mix of awe and fear.

Back in the house, the weatherman was drenched in full HD glorified sweat. I openly wondered if he was going to have a heart attack. He didn’t. He did, however, rant and rave about “rotations” and “charging up your cell phone”. There was no calm, no awe in his voice, just fear.

When the weather outside is possibly life threatening and the weatherman is swamped in a fear-induced froth, I find it hard not to become fearful as well. But fearful of what? Tornadoes, “death from above” as I like to call them, are random creatures. They can be slow moving and quick to strike without notice. In other words, I have no control over them.

Journeying through life, we live under the illusion that we are in control. We aren’t. Lately, I’ve been studying through the Old Testament. Reading through the book of Joshua, I have read time and time again of God orchestrating massive events, even using evil things for good. Though we are not in control, God is. Even in times where it doesn’t seem like He is answering our prayers, He is working behind the scenes as the book of Haggai points out. But even with God in control, our daily choices still matter. Choices such as whether to let fear rule our lives, instead of the hope of Christ (for those who have accepted Him), these choices matter.

Are the clouds of fear swirling around you? Does destruction seem to be looming on the horizon? Take hope in that God is orchestrating all things for the good of those who love Him.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28 (NIV)

Communication

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Every first Wednesday of the month, the city tests out their tornado warning system. At about noon, the sirens start to go off for about 5 minutes. As the sirens wail away, I am often reminded of the times when the sirens have been going off due to a real tornado in the area.

As a west coast native, the thought of deadly weather from above was never something that kept me up at night. Earthquakes were the disaster of the day. At best, you’d end up being woken in the middle of the night by a slight jolt. Nothing big. Here in the South, tornadoes are anything but a “slight jolt”.

Back in January, we had a freak outbreak of weather that had a tornado barreling down towards my house. According to the weatherman, who was calling out street names around us, we were “under the gun”. Not hearing anything outside, including the tornado warning system, I questioned the weatherman’s prediction. As he continued to shout, rant, and scream on the television –I wish I was joking but the weatherman was panicked– I decided to step outside and take a look. Probably not the smartest thing but why not.

Still not hearing any sirens, I opened the door to the backyard and looked around. The sky was perfectly calm and everything was still — I later learned that this happens before a tornado…guess the movie Twister didn’t teach me everything–. So I walked back into the house only to hear that the tornado had dissipated right before hitting my neighborhood. Close call I guess.

In retrospect, the behavior of the weatherman was absolutely terrible. Perhaps he was just relaying the information as he saw it, but he was inducing fear and panic as he spoke. There is a way to communicate life-threatening information without causing people to panic.

Communication is hard for many people, including me. (How many times have you assumed that someone was on the same page as you when they weren’t?) However, learning to communicate properly seems to be a life long process. Be it mass communicating with a siren or quieting speaking with a spouse.

Consider this your Public Service Announcement for the day.