Where I live there are over three hundred days of sunshine and it rains less than 6 inches a year!  The average daily temperature is 89 and the low is 55. This dry desert climate is considered near perfect!  It is advantageous to those with arthritis, breathing problems and skin conditions.
 It can change your life! Move here and you can life out the rest of your days carefree, healthy, active and most important happy. Have I enticed you?
It sounds close to what some feel the Christian life is going to be: Smooth sailing, easy and prosperous.
A few weeks ago, I walked out my west facing back door and was awestruck at the storm clouds that had gathered. The 10,000 foot San Jacinto Mountain had disappeared behind dark voluminous clouds.
Although the skies clear over my home, I knew that it had to be pouring rain at work. A sheet of visible rain was evident. Sure enough, later as I drove the five miles through flooded roads, I pulled into the parking lot for it was quite obvious a downpour had recently occurred.
A clear picture of what occasionally transpires in my life.
A storm rages yet because I am safely tucked inside I am not aware.  It blows over and I hear about it or read about it later and am thankful I didn’t have to experience it.
Other times I experience a storm in a different way.
Driving to work last week, the sky was crystal blue with just a few puffy white clouds in the far distance. No sign of a brewing storm whatsoever.
A short time later I watched white billowing clouds emerge. My desk is west facing and the view from the floor to ceiling windows in front of me, face that San Jacinto Mountain. While the majority of my view is the mountain, I can see the top and the normally blue sky.
Soon thereafter, those white clouds began to grow and become darker. I was back and forth working in an inner office, so when I’d return to my desk I could see how this storm was building in strength.
At noon, the day was bright and clear. By two it seemed like dusk. The sun had completely disappeared behind dark stormy clouds. Distant rumbling thunder began and lightening streaked across the sky. My interest piqued, I walked close to a window and peered out.
I was amazed as to how in such a short time a relatively clear day could quickly become stormy. The breeze had become gusty as the loud thunder and lightning grew in intensity. Drawn to the commotion the office staff all ventured to the windows to observe. The quarter size raindrops that had started became a torrent of rain in the few minutes we stood watching.
Darkness prevailed and within twenty minutes the parking lot was flooding and no end was in sight. We could just imagine the effects on the roads home. We anticipated the chaos on the roads of our drive home.  Because we have near perfect weather most days, the majority of drivers here don’t do rain. Chaos ensues.
This storm is descriptive of most of the flare-ups in my life. Why, you ask? Because:
·         They come when least expected and come out of nowhere.
·         They are fast and furious and leave devastating results.
·         They leave me shaking and feeling insecure.
Yet, God never promised me a life without storms. But he did promise life through the storm.
·         I will never walk through a storm alone. (Hebrews 13:5, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”)
·         He can calm the storm. (Luke 8:24, The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” Jesus got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm.)
·         I do not have to be afraid. (John 14:27, Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.)
The freak storm lasted less than an hour therefore driving home three hours later was not so bad. But main roads had to be closed and it would be hours before the damage fixed. Indeed it blew in and out, yet the effects were widespread. Just like my life flare-ups.
Have you been through any storms or flare-ups lately?