The Gathering Storm

Hurricanes are bad enough. Imagine them arriving before all the modern ways of forecasting the weather were available.

A hundred years ago, people might have had at best a few hours warning that a powerful storm was on the way. They couldn’t board up their windows, much less evacuate. I remember my grandfather talking about the arrival of the Hurricane of 1938 and how it came without warning to his orchard in Massachusetts.

Yet with all our technology, we still can’t control the weather. As Jesus remarked, “The rain falls on the just and the unjust alike.” So the theological lesson is clear: we don’t have ultimate control over our lives. Only God has that control, and his own influence over the world remains mysterious (he doesn’t save everyone from storms, for example.)

No wonder then that religion requires a lot of effort on our part to discern the workings of the Holy Spirit in our lives. And no wonder that much of the labor of religion is prayer. —J. Douglas Ousley

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