Photo by slgckgc on Flickr CC BY-2.0

Gardeners know that storms can wreak terrible havoc with their plant friends.

If the winds are strong enough, mature trees can be downed, leaving a gaping hole where they once stood.

In a garden, the loss of a large tree upsets the ecosystem of the area. It changes all manner of things, from the shade afforded plants in the understory, to the strength of the wind that buffets them, to the amount of rain reaching the ground. The entire microclimate is affected.

But the subtraction of a tree also presents new opportunities for a gardener.

Suddenly, more sunlight and rain can reach the area. There is space now for new plants or trees to grow that couldn’t before. Where once the gardener was limited to plants suitable only for shade, now he or she can consider roses, vegetables or other sun-loving plants.

So I suppose a storm’s effects aren’t always strictly negative for gardeners.

But what about the storms of life? Is there anything good that can come when some disaster leaves a gaping hole in our lives?

Sometimes a tempest can upset our routines and plans. A pandemic might turn our world topsy-turvy, an important relationship might end, or a job loss might make us reconsider our future path.

But these losses can also present new opportunities. There is now space and light to try new things that weren’t possible before. The gaping hole provides an opening for something you might not have considered trying before.

For the believer, storms can present an opportunity for God to do a new thing in our lives.

God can take our disrupted circumstances and bring something good out of them. It may take a while, and we may not see what’s happening at the time, but He promises to work all things together for our good and His glory (Romans 8:28).

I think we can borrow some lines from the ancient Persian poet Rumi to illustrate our point:

“This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all.
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honourably.

He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.”

Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

So let’s be open to the idea that God may want us to try something new following a storm season we undergo.

Let’s view the losses in our lives not so much as holes but rather as openings for God bring new people, new ideas and new opportunities across our path.

He may be clearing out the old to bring something new and wonderful into our lives!

For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.

Isaiah 43:19

© 2021 Lori J. Cartmell. All rights reserved.

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