The past year has been full of storms. When we’re in the middle of the storm things seem dark and turbulent. It’s easy to forget that up above those dark storm clouds the sun is still shining. Our view of it may be obscured but it is there just the same, shining it’s light and providing warmth. But if there were never storm clouds we wouldn’t have the rain we need to grow. The rain from these storms helps our roots to grow deep, giving us stability for the storms to come. It may be difficult to weather the blowing winds and drenching rains, but if we dig in deep and we don’t let go the storm will pass. No storm lasts forever. We may be damaged by the storm, but once the sun returns we begin to heal. As we do we may lose some parts of ourselves along the way, but there is always new life that sprouts in its place. With each storm and with each repair we continue to grow until we have developed solid roots that anchor us. As we grow we eventually are able to hold firm, even in the worst storms. We are less effected by the harsh winds and driving rains because we can see the storm for what it really is, another opportunity for growth. Once we have reached maturity we are able to provide shade and produce fruit for others to enjoy. We may even be able to block the wind during the storms to help protect those whose roots are still shallow. God, I love the feeling of the warm sun on my face… but thank you for the storms.