Several years ago, I was in Cancun, Mexico, with my daughter Rachael and son-in-law Tim. The weather was beautiful when we arrived, but we were warned that a hurricane could possibly be heading our way. As each day passed, the storm got closer to the Yucatan peninsula.
Forecasters speculated that Cancun would be hit directly, just as it had been a couple of years earlier. The hurricane was predicted to be a Category Five storm by the time it reached land. That is the strongest storm possible, and it was being reported that this could possibly be one of the worst storms in history.
Messages were left on our doors each night giving us updates on the progress of the storm. One report told us that we should be in touch with our airline carrier in order to leave Cancun, if necessary.
The next morning after receiving that message, we had breakfast with a man who has lived in Cancun for over twenty years. In that length of time, he has experienced many such storms. He told us that he had been tracking this one and when he saw that it had turned to sixteen degrees latitude, he knew that the hurricane would hit south of us and that we would be safe. He said that we still would get some tropical wind and rain as a result, but it would be nothing compared to what happened there a few years earlier. We breathed a sigh of relief and enjoyed the day!
Sure enough, that night we had updated information on our door once again. It stated that the hurricane would miss us, but we would receive tropical storms during the night. Everyone was encouraged to remain calm and stay in their room from 10:00 p.m. until 7:00 a.m. the next morning. I laughed when I read the note because I thought to myself, “That is what I was going to do anyway!”
We woke up the next morning with the storm still in full force. Although there was no major damage, dead wood, leaves, limbs, and other debris that had been knocked off the trees and bushes were all over the ground.
It was interesting to walk around and see the limbs and branches that were on the ground. Almost every one of them was already dead or unhealthy before they were blown down. In other words, the storm did its damage to eliminate what was not very good or healthy in the first place. I realize that sometimes storms can topple perfectly healthy trees, but I think, for the most part, heavy winds and storms do more damage to unhealthy parts of nature than they do regarding the healthy ones.
As I walked around Cancun and surveyed the minor damage that had occurred, I was reminded of something I was told as a very young man. Someone once told me that the purpose of storms is nature’s way of getting rid all the dead wood and unhealthy limbs from plants, bushes, and trees so that they can continue to grow.
I was also reminded not to let the “storms of life” destroy me. They actually are my friends. As in nature, storms come to prune away everything that is unhealthy or unnecessary in my life and bring me to a place where I can be stronger, healthier, and more fruitful.
True, people lose a lot of personal possessions and sometimes a lifetime of memories in severe storms. That is tragic and should not be taken lightly. However, in time, life returns to a “new normal” and people rebuild their lives and start to move ahead again.
Have you been going through any storms in your life lately? Maybe there has been a storm in your marriage or with your children. Just give it some time. Things can improve after old patterns are broken away or eliminated. Perhaps you have gone through a storm in your personal business life. Well, if any of this is true, I have two words for you: “Be encouraged!” The storm will knock off and eliminate all the dead wood and will give you or your business an opportunity to become stronger and better and more fruitful than ever before.
It is a fact that nature is our friend. And even though it can be cruel and difficult at times, it always yields good results in the end.
I hope you will think about this Tip and let it become part of your everyday life. The next time you go through a storm, be encouraged and excited because your best fruit and strongest days are probably just ahead!
Tip: Storms have a purpose.
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm