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As I write this, I am sitting in a sun-filled day with clear blue skies and not a cloud in sight.
Yet tomorrow the forecast is horrific, promising gale force winds and torrential rain.
We know that suddenly out of a clear blue sky, storms come, rain batters us and the blue skies disappear.
We all know of the literal storms that can batter our coastline and cause havoc.
But there are other storms, storms of a personal dimension… when illness strikes and brings the storms that shake the very bedrock of our faith – awful devastating storms, that can shatter lives and threaten to completely overwhelm those caught up in the waves.
None of us knows how we will cope in the storm till the waves hit us.
We all know people close to us, people here in our own community who have had storms of epic proportion batter them as they cope with illness that has come out of a clear blue sky, and left them struggling with a tsunami of grief.
We know people who have suffered loss, and ache with longing and emptiness.
We love the times when we sail on calm waters with the sun shining when all is right with the world and life is plain sailing. But what of the storms, how do we cope with these hard times, when we are all at sea?
Whatever our storms, Jesus will be beside us, even if, in our fear, at the time, we can’t recognise him.
He will be there, saying: ‘I am with you, even to the end of the age.’
Jesus was with the frightened disciples in a storm and brought peace, and he will be with us too, however high the waves.