In our early teen years, my brother and I had taken boat and motor and headed out to do some fishing. With no fish biting, we decided to land the boat and explore along the edge of the lake. Our search uncovered an old cemetery overgrown with weeds. We were fascinated as we looked through the tombstones, all but forgotten in this out-of-the-way place. We were so engrossed in our exploring that we didn’t notice clouds rolling in. A sharp clap of thunder told us we needed to hurry back.
By then, the storm was coming quickly. We had two miles of lake to cover and nowhere to stop. After attempting to out race the storm, we realized about two-thirds of the way home we needed to find some shelter quickly. Wind and rain picked up, lightning flashed, thunder boomed. We knew enough to get out of the middle of the lake, but there wasn’t much protection along the shoreline. We sat out the storm, anxious and fearful close to the shore. Ear splitting thunder crashed overhead while lightening sent daggers into the sky.
I’ve found myself in many other storms since then. There have been times I’ve waited them out anxious and fearful . . . Hopeful, that the limited protection I’d found was sufficient. In our faith we have been given the promise that there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God. Most often I remember that. But from time to time, when the storms grow wild and the thunder roars, I need to be reminded of this truth. I need to be reminded that there is nothing on earth or in heaven that can separate us from God’s love in Jesus Christ.
At those moments, I need a friend to speak the words of hope. I need a person to remind me of what I already know. God has given us each other. We are blessed to have friends who encourage us through our stormy moments. We are blessed even more, when we can give encouragement to our friends.
“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2