I am Just One Branch.  I am married to Another Branch, and we are Abiding in Him.  We have been married just over 10 years.  We have been blessed in those 10 years with four beautiful children we like to call  Fruit Loops, Racer, Whistler, Puzzler and Tiny Dancer.  My hope is to share in this blog our experiences that perhaps can be entertaining, inspiring, thought provoking or just plain funny. Having said that, I will proceed with story #1: Just a few days ago, I got myself and my Fruit Loops into the car to run a few errands.  We have a community mail box center just down the street from our home, and so I stopped there first to pick up our mail.

I looked across the street to my left, just 20-30 yards away and with the sun beating down, I could see tiny sprinkles hitting the ground.  At first I thought it was a sprinkler, but not in this climate in February.  I quickly realized it was an ever so gentle hail storm, but it wasn’t hailing where we were parked.

I drew the Fruit Loops attention to the fact that it was hailing across the street, but not hailing on us.  We sat in amazement that we were watching, the edge of the storm, something we could not recall having seen before. 

We remained in the parking lot, and waited as the hail storm overtook us. We laughed as the tiny sparkling beads of weather hit our windshield. We noted the different sounds made as the different size beads danced on the glass.

The hail continued on it’s course. Within moments it was hailing to the right of our car. And as I looked across the street to my left, all I could see was the shining sun.  The hail storm no longer existed on the left side of the street and now moved swiftly away from us to the right.

I remarked to my children, that one rarely sees the edge of a storm, and gets to watch it pass over and move on.

As I reflected later upon my day, I realized how unalarming the storm was when I was able to see it in advance and watch it approach until it overtook us and then moved on. I enjoyed, even treasured every moment and every aspect. Quite a contrast to being starteled as you drive down the street and suddenly find yourself surrounded by white pellets smacking the windsheild, with alarming noise  and visibility skewed.

Such are the storms of life. We rarely see them approach. If we were able to watch the  gentle beginning, from a distance, and anticipate what it would be like to be in the midst of the storm, and how relatively quickly it would pass, perhaps we would not fret the storm at all. 

But we more often find ourselves surprised by the storms of life, suddenly in the midst of the pelting hail, distorting our vision, and breaking the peace. Our only desire is for the end to come, and we have no idea how or when the storm began.

The Lord sees the storms, from the quiet beginning, to the tumultus eye of the storm, to the life changing passing.  He showed me a glimpse that day of His perspective, nothing to be surprised by, nothing to be alarmed by, and this too shall pass. 

 I do hope I recall this lesson when next I find myself ‘surprised’ by a storm.

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