Temper Tantrums

Mother Nature Has a Mean Temper at Times.

I phoned Ed, my old neighbor in Saskatchewan, yesterday because we had a violent storm two days ago. Tuesday morning we awoke to wind and rain that intensified during the day. It sounded like the wind would blow in our condo windows. By ten in the morning, our power was off, and much of the city was shut down by the power outages. Mother Nature sure threw a windy temper tantrum. The storm caused in our city alone, 23 road closures, 75 trees blew down blocking roads, the Chilliwack Fire Department responded to 100 calls over 12 hours. The whole Fraser Valley, from Vancouver to Hope, got slapped around by the storm in a far-ranging assault. The forceful winds blew over trees and sheds, damaged roofs on both the houses of the cities and the barns in the surrounding farms. Our power was out 7 hours which was a brief time. Many were without power much longer. The cleanup from the storm will take a couple of weeks.

Ed critically said that I should have stayed in Saskatchewan where it can be a bit cold, but the weather is stable. According to Ed, “It is foolish to be so near the Pacific Ocean. Storms will come in from the ocean with gale force winds that will blow stuff over and roofs away. The constant wet weather will wither you up like a prune.” I can only hope something will wither my weight down about thirty pounds out here. It is harder to bike in the rain, but Ed sympathetically said that I should ride three or four times on the rainless days. That way, when we have several rainy days in a row I’ll have them covered. 

Rain and wind storms on the Sea of Galilee were common in Jesus’ time. There were frequent furious squalls or sudden violent storms on the sea. Situated in a basin surrounded by mountains, the Sea of Galilee was and is susceptible to storms caused by the clash of cool air, drawn from the Mediterranean, descending through narrow mountain passes, and the hot, humid air lying over the sea. Such storms destroyed boats and lives.

The Bible reports that one evening Jesus directed the disciples to cross the Sea of Galilee, and when they were all in the boat crossing the sea Jesus went to sleep. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat nearly swamping it. The disciples awoke Jesus fearing that they would drown in the storm. Jesus arose and told the storm to be quiet and still and the sea became completely calm. The disciples were terrified, and they asked each other; “Who is this? Even the wind and waves obey Him?”

Before they awoke, the sleeping Jesus, in the boat, the disciples were afraid. Jesus asked them after they awoke him, why they were so afraid, and if they still did not have faith. Faith is the absence of fear. The disciples saw firsthand that night that Jesus was more powerful than the wind and the waves. Later after his resurrection, they saw that Jesus was more powerful than death. The opposite of fear is faith in God’s power above all else. Will we face life with fear or faith?

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Raymond Maher
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