Storms

raincloud-47580_640It is often said that April showers bring May flowers.  If that is true, we are in for a bumper flower crop this year!  We have seen many days of rain and several storms this spring.  The quote is often used to remind us that the storms of today can bring future blessings.   Paul said essentially the same thing in Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

It is important to pay attention to what is said.  It does not say “all things are good”.  Neither does it say, “all things will be pleasant”.  God through Paul says that “all things work together for good”.  The storms and showers of today, can bring a greater good in the future.

God is building our character.  He works to conform us to the image of His Son, Jesus.  In that process, He must remove some things about us which interfere with that goal.  He must also build within us new attitudes and skills.  That process is not always pleasant.

I always struggled with visiting hospitals as a pastor.  It was not that hospitals frightened me or anything.  You see, as a teen, I wanted to become a doctor.  When I was called to preach, that dream changed.  However, there was still within me a desire to be “of tangible benefit” to people.  I felt I was doing less just visiting someone.  I felt awkward.  As a bivocaitonal pastor, I also worked as an Emergency Medical Technician.  That gave some skills which were medical related.  There was always a desire to look at the chart and “do something”.

Then, eight years ago, I became the patient.  I developed Guillain-Barre Syndrome.  GBS is a disorder which left me paralyzed in the hospital.  I received a week of treatments and then spent a month in therapy.  During that time of helplessness the calls, visits, cards, etc. were a lifeline to me.  I experienced firsthand the value of a visit.  Guess what?   Being there for me was “doing something”.  I will never again feel awkward when visiting, calling, or checking up on Facebook.

I would not volunteer to go through that again.  However, I am grateful for that storm and the growth it brought to me.