Today has been a stormy day! In fact, the storms just keep coming. The weather map on TV looks more like a multi colored quilt or Joseph's coat than it does a map. There have been numerous watches and warnings, both in our area and in the part of Mississippi where we went for my doctor's appointment today. Fortunately, we got home and in the house before the worst of it here. We'll have to spend some time in the next few days cleaning up storm debris in our back yard. Many in eastern Arkansas have nothing left but debris. We are grateful to be safe.
We hear a lot about the "storms of life." Periods of life are compared to storms--times of sunshine and joy; strong winds of crisis that threaten to destroy us or those we love; calms winds that bring peace. I've always loved to see the vibrant green of the grass and leaves following storms or heavy rains. I like what follows the storm, not the experience itself. I'm sitting here now with the constant chatter of the weather people and the rain hitting on the window next to my chair. Just when we think we're out of one warning or watch, here comes another.
Think about how that parallels life. Different areas of the world, different climates produce different types of storms. Before we lived in California we had a hard time understanding why anyone would live in an earthquake prone area. Friends in California couldn't understand why we would live in "tornado alley." Something you consider a storm in your life isn't necessarily like the storms in our life. Some have to deal with broken relationships, drugs or other addictions, estranged family members; we deal with disease. A diagnosis might bring a strong wind of crisis; successful treatment mimics the calm winds of peace, but sunshine and joy can be present in the midst of the crisis and the peace.
The scans I had on Wednesday still show the presence of disease, but it is not progressing--just "smoldering," as the doctor put it. Medically, there are two things in my favor: the CA125 is a good indicator of disease in my case; and my cancer is sensitive to a particular chemo drug. We were praying for complete remission, but are not discouraged with what we heard. I will always have hope because I know an amazing God. Tomorrow the yard will be alive with that vibrant green. I will feel safe and confident knowing the storm has past. That's the way of the cancer. Tonight I think about all the possibilities, all the "what ifs," wonder a bit about the future of our family, but when morning comes I'll see the vibrant green of life and be grateful that I am safe.
The storm of Parkinson's is another matter. A Memphis TV station carried news of the tornadoes that ripped through eastern Arkansas. One family lived in a large doublewide with several bedrooms and three baths. After the storm passed, nothing was left. The reporter emphasized that no bathroom fixtures could be found. They, along with everything else, were completely blown away. Parkinson's does that to the people it attacks, maybe not as quickly as a tornado, but every bit as devastating.
When Tom was in Vietnam I began every morning with the words of Lamentations 3:22-23. "It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed. They are new every morning. Great is His faithfulness." Good words to remember in the storms that surround and threaten to undo us!