Look to Me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. ~ Isaiah 45:22
“What are those strings?” Cole asked, pointing at my laptop screen.
It was Friday, two days before the expected landfall – or bad coastal brushing – of Tropical Storm Isaac. The spaghetti computer models stretched in an uncomfortably large multitude along the entire peninsula of our home state, decorating Florida with purple, green, and pink storm track silly string.
Though early spaghetti models are quite regularly off course for the storm’s path, it was still nerve-wracking to wrap my mind around a hurricane hitting the Sunshine state. I explained to our older son what I knew about Spaghetti models – namely that they’re created from various computer models tracking weather conditions, and they predict a ‘most likely path scenario’ for the particular storm.
I noticed questions sparkling within Cole’s blue eyes as I pointed at the doppler and talked about Tropical Storm Isaac’s likely path toward Florida and the Gulf of Mexico.
“So the computers tell the weather people where it’s going?”
“Yes, they help them take a good guess.”
“They don’t know for sure?”
“Not for sure, no. They know for sure it won’t hit Alaska, but they don’t know if it’ll hit Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, or New Orleans.”
“So they’re guessing?” Cole’s eyebrows lifted.
“Kind of, yeah. They’re relying on computer models that are usually pretty close, but yes, they guess.” He contemplated that for a moment, letting the heaviness of its truth settle in his curious mind.
I went on about Isaac’s uncertain approach and reminded him of the excitement from 2004′s eventful and surprising hurricane season. Cole knew the story well - he was born two months before Hurricane Charley hit and went through two other minor hurricanes that year as a babbling infant.
Chase called his brother’s name like a song from the playroom, and Cole headed off into Lego wonderland.
I continued watching the radar, following the tie-dyed blob of rotating color that could damage buildings, flood homes, and take lives with its windy, swirling, water-logged presence.
So they’re guessing? Cole’s question came to mind, a reminder of human fallibility and frailty.
So much in life – nearly everything, in fact - is out of our control, like spaghetti models stretching across life’s days, weeks, months, and years. We make plans for next year though we’re not certain for tomorrow’s arrival. And God’s Word reminds us that our days are a vapor, a short measure of God’s creation, marked most clearly by their brevity.
Grasping for security and peace in this life apart from Jesus is like trying to hold hot sand with a closed first. Jesus promised that in Him alone we would find peace for uncertain days and life’s stormy trials. We don’t need to know the spaghetti strings’ exact course when our eyes are on our Savior.
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” ~ John 16:33
Through Jesus, God provides us with the very best kind of storm shelter. We won’t know for certain the direction in which life’s spaghetti string will go, but we know Who holds it in His hand and we have His Word to lead us, step by step.
Strengthen your faith in God’s Word, and trust that God’s sovereignty and perfect care will provide enough sunshine to blot out the darkest clouds life may bring.
Faith isn’t the ability to believe long and far into the misty future. It’s simply taking God at His Word and taking the next step. ~ Joni Erickson Tada