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God’s Messenger

It had been a rocky few weeks. Two people I loved, who were closer to me than family, were gradually pulling away, and there was nothing I could do because nobody would admit there was a problem. The book I had been so sure would sell had been rejected again and again. I worried about money as my income kept dropping—but due to physical problems I was not capable of holding down a nine-to-five office job. Freelancing, with its flexible hours, was my only option.

As I sat at the bank’s drive-up window making a deposit for one of my clients, I eyed the storm clouds gathering in the sky ahead of me and worried about getting home to turn off my computer before the storm hit. “I shouldn’t have left it on,” I lectured myself. I knew my surge suppressor would only protect the equipment from voltage spikes, not a lightning surge. I had already had to replace one computer because of lightning.

I have always loved thunderstorms, and, in spite of my worries, I could still appreciate the beauty of those thunderheads towering majestically into the sky. The sun hadn’t been obscured by them yet, and the subtle hues of blue and gray drew my gaze. Although they presaged a storm, the color combination was peaceful—like the calm before the storm, I thought wryly. Sunlight on the tops of the clouds gave them a frothy pink cap, and light rays streaming from around the clouds reminded me of paintings I’d seen of the ascension of Christ. Tears gathered in my eyes again, thinking of the friendship I valued so highly, tossed so lightly aside.

For no reason, the words from “Desiderata” came to my mind: “Be at peace with God, however you conceive Him.” Staring morosely at the clouds, I doubted God knew or cared about my sorrow. Just then a lone hawk appeared, silhouetted against the advancing thunderheads. He seemed totally unconcerned, rising easily on the thermals, wings nearly motionless, then descending in slow lazy circles. I suspected he wasn’t so much hunting as enjoying the ride, dipping and swaying, gliding out of sight, then reappearing farther out. It looked so effortless.

I believe God speaks to us in ways we’re often not aware of and frequently uses Mother Nature as His messenger. Was the hawk’s lazy sky dance supposed to mean something to me?

Even as I wondered, the answer came.

The storm was getting closer, but the hawk seemed indifferent to what I, worry-bound human, perceived as danger. In the face of the oncoming storm, he was playing, riding the thermals, trusting in his Creator and the strength of his own wings, at peace with himself and the world. He wasn’t worrying about getting out of the storm; that would come in good time. Right now he was savoring the joyride his Creator had provided for his pleasure.

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He was having fun; I was worrying. Who was in the more enviable position?

I understood then that I, too, needed to ride in the arms of my Creator, to let Him worry about the storms to come. That is, after all, His job. My job, like the hawk’s, was to simply relax and let the thermals of life carry me where they would. Neither the hawk nor I could control the oncoming storm, but we could rest safely in the arms of our Creator. That is not to say there won’t be more storms—but as long as I trust the updrafts and the strength I’ve been given, I’ll weather the storm.

The first raindrops hitting the windshield just as I pulled into my driveway seemed like a benediction.

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