It was supposed to be a debilitating spring snowstorm, but for much of the area it was only frosting on the grass and a lot of rain. All expectations focused on broken tree limbs, downed power lines and plenty of ice. Thankfully, the expectations were wrong. What could have been the "April Surprise" was just surprisingly cold.
As the news media began reporting the forecast of a severe winter storm near the end of last month, people began to prepare for the worst. In spite of living in an area that sees plenty of snow, ice, and cold, people became increasingly afraid of what would happen. Maybe it was due to the way it was reported, or possibly because of previous experiences, nevertheless, fear was growing.
I went to the store the night the storm was to begin to pick up milk, bread, and a few other things we needed. I was not there to prepare for the storm, but it was clear many people already were. The cereal aisle was very empty as we're the canned goods. A quick conversation with an employee revealed that the store was slammed with business by people preparing for the worst.
We do that sometimes. We hear a negative report, our emotions take hold, and we begin acting out of fear. We forget our strengths and our trust in God and begin making rash decisions trying to protect ourselves from an unknown future. At times, those decisions are downright foolish. The grocery store cashier told me of numerous people who loaded up on perishable items in preparation for losing the power to keep them. Fear will do that.
The Bible tells us that God, "did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and of a sound mind." (2 Timothy 1:7) It is easy to give in to the negative report. It is easy to follow the fearful path of the masses around us, but we are not called to that path. We are a people of faith in the power of Almighty God. It is God who, in the face of intimidating circumstances, gives us a sound mind and the power to act with love and faith.
The Great April Storm that wasn't is a prophetic image. All too often the negative, fearful report is wrong, and we find we surrendered much our lives afraid of what would not happen. As the people of the Resurrection, we can be prepared, but ultimately, our trust is in God. Together, let's go forward; laying aside our fears, trusting in God and embracing his vision and power for our lives.