Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Riding the Storm

As regulations insist, I arrived at the airport three hours before take-off, to check in my baggage, to enjoy a light meal and to wait…

Purely by habit, I booked a window seat ahead of the wing to enjoy the view; even though flying at night could only promise a streetlight profile of the city I was leaving and the city I was going to.

But while climbing towards cruising altitude, I noticed flashes ahead.   Suddenly, as we banked left, a huge storm-cell came into view away to the right.

I was enthralled by this twenty-minute display, gazing across to a huge, brooding ball of incandescent, flashing white. Sheet-lighting burst over the clouds; eerily splashing them in white, beige, ochre and mauve – all against the sky’s inky darkness – while lightning bolts sprayed in all directions.

Thunderstorms may inspire anxiety or awe within us. But never before had I realised – or had reason to – how much lightning goes into the atmosphere – with so little heading towards earth!

Riding out a storm is often a matter of gritting our teeth and hoping it will pass, because we can’t outrun lightning; and experience shows us that it never lasts for long.

Yet putting our hope in God is like learning to ride a storm. The Bible describes this as lifting our minds to soar like eagles as we catch invisible updrafts of faith to see fresh perspectives of beauty and opportunity beyond the fears and pressures that too easily blind us.t a storm is often a matter of gritting our teeth and hoping it will pass, because we can’t outrun lightning; and experience shows us that it never lasts for long.

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Noel Mitaxa is from South Eastern Australia and has been in ministry since 1973, firstly with Churches of Christ – similar to the Disciples in the USA – until 1990, when he moved to a faith-based inter-based inter-church sports ministry of sports evangelism, sports chaplaincy and sports media, before returning to pastoral ministry with Baptist Churches in 1996.

Throughout his ministries, he has always aimed at building the kinds of churches that express God’s love practically, as much as verbally.  Most recently, this included a community centre for woodworking, a community garden and counseling and education programs.

He also enjoys the methanol fix of speedway chaplaincy, in which he has served nine seasons as the Head Rev of all those rev heads!

He and his wife Judy have been married for 35 years; their four kids have grown up and they have three grandchildren.

His writing began in 1982, with his first weekly Good News column, which has always focused on helping unchurched people to realize that God loves them and that He is already there for them.  The column has also been a tool for feeding and starting ‘water cooler’ conversations among Christians and non-Christians.  He also writes for Cypress Times in Houston TX.

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