Every storm runs out of rain. – Maya Angelou
It’s hurricane season, and with it comes the usual wind, rain, storm surge, and flooding. Whereas a few weeks ago the temperatures felt like an audition for moving hell to the earth’s surface, there is now water everywhere, without a drop to drink – unless boiled. Even boiling is a problem. Winds frequently knock out power so stoves, air conditioners, and water pumps won’t work. The problem of drought morphs into a problem of contaminated water. What’s the old saying? It never rains, but it pours? Tell that to the people of Pakistan, India, and other places where water is needed, but not in such huge quantities. Even folks here feel the pain.
This is Noah-type weather, producing the rain God intended to cleanse the earth of the people who created a mess of things. At least, this was how the people at the time saw the flood. They laughed at Noah for building a massive ship in his backyard, particularly in a climate where rain is infrequent. It rained, 40 days and 40 nights. What a mess!
I once lived in the Philippines during several typhoons, one of which came from the south of our area moving north, stopped, turned around, came back through, then stopped and turned around again. It finally continued north and out to sea. It was monsoon season to boot, which meant we had 40 days of rain. We didn’t need an ark, but supplies had to be flown in. Most of the roads and bridges were washed out. I met a lady here in Phoenix whose son was a Navy pilot who lost his plane in the South China Sea during that typhoon. He was lucky to survive.
Humongous storms and even hurricanes happen in unexpected and unprepared places, while some places suffer massive floods every monsoon season. Here in the States, we have a few hurricanes a year, many dangerous and damaging, though not all tear towns and cities apart. The damage is inconvenient, but we mostly recover. It is something like Maya Angelou said, “Every storm runs out of rain.”
Life is like that. There are times when it seems that nothing goes right. We feel like we’re drowning in flood waters, hanging on to a board that used to be part of our house. Last week felt like that to me. For example, a member of our Education for Ministry (EfM) group came into class to tell us the bad news that his wife was dying of cancer. It was heart-wrenching and tragic news, sad for all of us. She died that night, and our prayers continue for him and his family. Also, one of my boys (my cats) lost an eye to globular rupture, requiring emergency surgery (and a huge bill). I learned also about several new medical issues that have surfaced on my chart. I could manage each one by itself, but so many? It all felt like defensive players all piling up on an offensive player trying to cross the one-yard line to score a goal in football. I did a lot of praying last week, but that’s when prayer seems most needed – and done.
This week it feels like the rain might be slowing, maybe stopping. Sooner or later, all rainstorms move away or run out of water to send downward. The same goes for personal disasters and the like. As long as I remember to pray for strength and courage, I usually come out a little stronger and a little wiser from having gone through the experiences. That doesn’t mean I won’t have something bad happen tomorrow, but for now, I can breathe a bit easier. The cat is recovering. My EfM friend seems to be coping and knows we are all there for him in thoughts, prayers, and, if necessary, in person. There’s nothing much I can do about the medical stuff for a little while, so I’ve been asking God to help me get through it.
I’m looking for the rainbow at the end of the storm. There almost always is one somewhere. There was a double one over Winsor Castle when the Queen died, so I’m taking that as a sign she arrived in Heaven and was reunited with her beloved husband and family. I don’t want to live to be 96, but I’d like to have a rainbow show up when I finally go.
I’ve learned from Maya’s quote to always keep an umbrella in the car, just in case.
Image: Monsoon floods in Ambala 2010, Author Harsh Mangal from Sydney, Australia. Found at Wikimedia Commons.
Linda Ryan is a co-mentor for an Education for Ministry group, an avid reader, lover of Baroque and Renaissance music, and retired. She keeps the blog Jericho’s Daughter. She lives with her three cats near Phoenix, Arizona.