Tuesday, September 18, 2018
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Weathering the storms of life


The storms have raged this week with high winds, vibrant lightening, boisterous thunder, and pouring rain. When I was thinking about what gives strength in the midst of life’s storms, I thought of the redwood tree. Growing to be 350 feet tall, these giant trees have a root system only five to six feet deep. My mind is fascinated by how these monstrous trees do not topple with even the slightest breeze. The reason is because these trees live in community. Their roots intertwine and even fuse with other tree roots up to 100 feet from the trunk. Living in community enables these majestic trees to withstand the storms that rage.

When the storms of emotions raged in my life this week, I reached out to a friend. Dialing her number, I wondered if I’d be a burden or interrupt her life. Instead, I received the intertwining support of a listening ear and loving words. I hung up the phone better able to withstand the winds of sadness or fear or insecurity or doubt.

A few days later my phone rang in the early morning. I was awake but not yet out of bed. As I said “hello,” I knew that support was what was being requested. I listened as she shared the storms of life that she faced. I had no answers or advice, but I offered my own experience, strength, and hope. Fused with similar experience, she thanked me and hung up the phone. We both left the conversation feeling bolstered: I in my ability to encourage another and she in her ability to receive encouragement.

Living in community provides incredible support that is far reaching to many aspects of our lives. I need people in my life. Sending an encouraging text enables me to get outside of my own circumstances to focus on another. And the truth is, people also benefit from being in a relationship with me. Recently I received a card with an inspiring poem from one who reached out in order to face her own storms of grief. Intertwining of arms surround me in hugs. Fusing of faith empowers me in moments of prayer or sharing within a small group. All of these provide support in the midst of life’s storms, enabling each in the community to grow majestic lives unswayed by the winds, lightning, thunder or rain that come.