Look to the sky! Quick, what is it saying?! Do you need to rug up with your thickest jacket and make a steaming cup of tea, or do you need to whack on your favourite boardies and enjoy some cool water?
Looking up in the sky answers this question for us. It can tell us whether we need an umbrella for rain, or sunscreen (for obvious reasons). One single gaze lets us know how we need equip ourselves before we undertake our daily missions.
But a storm is brewing
Sometimes however, we don’t get a full enough look. Sometimes we take a quick peek directly above us and briefly glimpse a sunny sky. Sometimes we don’t notice the stormy, grey clouds to the east. We go out and are set to enjoy ourselves, but once the rain starts all we can think about is that one window we forgot to shut.
This happens when we don’t watch the weather.
I want to tell you, friends, that it can be a bit like this in life too. Sometimes we think everything’s fine with our friends or family and don’t take that extra bit of care to check whether a storm cloud is brewing. We believe everything to be fine and go about our lives with the proverbial window left open.
Then it seems like out of nowhere, a fierce and mighty storm erupts in the form of a relationship falling apart, or a financial breakdown, and everything in our life is soaked and blown over.
I’ve found that usually you can tell if a storm is brewing if you just take a second to look and think about it. If a friend makes a comment which niggles away at you for the day, or your significant other and you seem only to argue every time you’re together, I’d wager a storm is coming.
Now obviously it’s a touch easier to prepare for a storm in the more elemental sense than it is in this metaphor - I certainly won’t claim to have all the answers – however I think the first step is certainly watching the weather.
Once you know the storm is brewing, you can take steps to avoid it. You can engage in that conversation or you can be there for that someone. You can avoid what could be an absolute train wreck and turn it into nothing more than a bumpy ride.
What I mean by this is just as when one lets a wound fester it grows infested and worse than imaginable, so too will a problem between people fester and turn into a horrible monster that neither wants to address. But one we identify the ‘monster in the room’ we can be smarter about approaching it and not have it explode like a firecracker.
Looking over what I’ve written I believe everything can be boiled down to three main points.
Keep an eye out; check to see and spend some time identifying any storms that might be brewing between you and other people (or even between other people, if you’re mature enough). We live on a world full of people, and to see God’s kingdom come to Earth we must make sure we’re winning people (see previous article).
Shut the windows; remember that these storms don’t have to ruin everything inside of you if you’re ready for them. They don’t have to be an unexpected monster which leaps out at you leaving you empty and cold, they can be approached smartly and confidently.
Equip yourself; know what you need to bring for the weather. Do you need a deft, subtle touch to gently adjust someone’s behaviour, or do you need to have a more serious confrontation with someone about the way they’re treating you or others?
I’m not promising, friends, that these three steps will solve all your problems. However, they can help you to prepare. It seems every other month I will talk with someone about a huge storm they’re facing and will need to help them to ‘clean their houses’.
However, if we’re keeping an eye out, closing the windows and equipping ourselves, our houses may never become the chaotic, dripping mess that storms can turn it into. While there still may be a huge storm and the power might go out, this is only temporary and what matters is still intact.
Watch the weather, friends, and continue in your daily mission to see God glorified and Heaven on Earth.
Josiah Gray lives in Logan City, Australia. He is currently studying teaching at Christian Heritage College and is committed to telling the story of Jesus to the next generation. Josiah’s previous articles may be viewed at: https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/josiah-gray.html