Riding Out The Dust Storm of a Future

dust storm

I was in one of those odd dream-states the other morning where it’s too early to wake up yet you’re not really falling back to sleep.  I call it Four-in-the-morning.  I began thinking about the future—a semi-regular occurrence during these early morning fits of restlessness.

A picture came to mind of standing in an open field, like a desert, and the future being this huge, billowing, undulating dust storm off in the distance.  You know; one of those endlessly high and wide, ominous walls, writhing and churning, hiding everything behind it in thick darkness.  To be honest, was the odd sensation that my first instinct was to run towards it; to become engulfed and see what was in it, and what lies beyond, so restless have I been about the future.

But on second thought I held fast.  I hadn’t even taken time to look around at where I was, at what may be laying right here in my immediate surroundings.  Besides, like any typical dust storm, it would make its way to me eventually.  Why rush it?   The future will inevitably come.

The next sensation I felt was as the storm passed, wanting to almost lasso the wind, to cling to this ominous power and ride it as long as I could.  To “get my money’s worth” of the fear and uncertainty that had plagued me for so long concerning the unknown struggles and wind-whipped battering that (to my worried mind) would be held within.

Almost immediately though, it occurred to me that there would be a “beyond”; there would be an “other side”.  No storm, no unknown, no future is the end-all-be-all.  There’s always an aftermath: Be it that the worst has passed, or that the nastiest bits had just missed us; be it that there is now the clean-up and rebuilding; be it that the fear was no big deal to begin with and that too much time had been wasted in anticipation and fear.

Once more, you find yourself standing in what-do-I-do-now-land.

Then, you look to the horizon in time to see another storm crest the hills beyond.  And that odd combination of fear and expectation grips you once more.  Slowly, it dawns on you: You’re living for the storm.  Not for the preparation, not for the rebuilding, but for the chaos.  As this thought unveils itself, you also begin to realize that it’s this chaos that paralyzes you.  There’s honestly nothing you can do but watch the storm advance.  You’re blind to the things that surround you in the present, and what lies beyond is hidden by the approaching cloud of uncertainty.

I know the main thrust of today’s post doesn’t seem to be the most Christ-centered.  Yet, one thing I’ve come to learn only lately is that within this whole scenario you can fix yours eyes on the advancing storm, you can take the time to gaze at your surroundings….or you can look up.

It’s only lately that I myself have been looking up; and sometimes I have to look up several times a day, several times an hour.  But inevitably, within the looking up, I feel the presence of a God of reassurance, peace and hope that says, “I got this!”

“So don’t worry about these things . . . your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these will be given you as well.” (Matthew 6:31-33, NLT {edit})

 Keith Krell, in a study series entitled: Counter-Cultural Christianity: Sermon on the Mount, expands:

“When Jesus’ disciples are responsible to carry out the proper ways of life as ordained by God; God is faithful to carry out His responsibilities.  Is this promise always fulfilled? Does God always provide for the needs of His children throughout the world? When Christians seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness, they will become world Christians and He will meet the needs of those in poverty. . . God is not saying that there will never be anyone who starves.   Sometimes God will provide a time of need in order for believers to trust Him, turn to Him, or to improve their character. Nevertheless, as David said in Psalm 37:25, ‘I have been young and now I am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his descendants begging bread.’ Don’t worry, be hopeful.”

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6 thoughts on “Riding Out The Dust Storm of a Future”

  1. Very good, Brother. Too often we take our eyes and our focus off of where we truly need to keep it. Continue looking up…He’ll bring you where you need to be! Blessings…

  2. Amazing photo Kent, and interesting 4-in-the-morning thoughts. When I lie awake at those times is when I feel most negative, so I have learned not to take too much notice of my fearful thoughts. It is good you have something positive from them.

    1. Thanks unkle. That’s very true . . . a lot of the four-in-the-morning thoughts do tend to be more worry and doubt and general negativity. I’ve really tried to refocus during those times, harness all that stuff and just say, “Wait a minute!”

  3. Kent–I think this post is VERY Christ-centered. The feelings you describe are so universal and your comments
    are a timely reminder to keep our focus and faith on our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I find I have a
    constant need for the peace and comfort that listening to the Spirit brings into my life. I am amazed at the
    way the Lord helps me adjust my perspective, which so often “spiritually drifts” degree by degree, until I
    am off course and I can see only the approaching dust storm. It is so wonderful to have him shed his light in
    my mind and heart and help me sweep out the dust of fear and uncertainty.

    1. Thank you Maryann. I sometimes have to still myself and focus on WHY I’ve made the choices I have and WHO it is that I’m trying to live for. Sometimes its harder at four in the morning, but I still try. 🙂

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