We Are Called To Remain Righteous Throughout The Storm

As I write this morning a storm is raging outside my window. The skies are leaden, the wind is bending trees, stripping them of the last remains of autumn leaves. Rain is battering the roof above my head and the window before me. It is a drama only nature can provide. It adds a certain weightiness to our passage from the Book of Wisdom today.

The writer uses the powerful metaphor of a storm here to make a point about divine wisdom. In a storm, though the trees are bent to and fro by the force of the wind, most of them survive. Their health and their strength make it possible for them to endure the onslaught of the storm’s fury. So it is with the righteous. The wicked, like the dead and the unhealthy trees, will not stand. They will be knocked down. They will be no more.

Often in our lives we feel battered by storms. They may be caused by losses of one kind or another, or by stresses that threaten to overwhelm us. There are Christians in our world today, who are being threatened by the terrifying storms of very real terrorism. Their homes are being destroyed. Many are being martyred for their faith. They are in the midst of a storm that is beyond our comprehension. Most of us cannot imagine how their faith is being tested right now, or how they must desperately desire that the truth of this passage from the Book of Wisdom will come true for them soon.

In truth, we are all challenged to reflect on the meaning of this passage in the context of reality. In the end, the wicked will be gone and only the righteous will remain standing. But we are challenged to remember that this is true in God’s time, maybe not our own. So what do we do with a passage like this? The reality is that we must live in the midst of very real storms at times, and we must do so with absolute faith in God’s promise. We may not see the fulfillment of that promise in our own time, but how we stand and face the trials of those storms makes all the difference for ourselves and for those who will benefit later from our decisions and our determination to endure in faith. We are called by God to remain righteous in the middle of the roiling storms of life. We are to remain true to our calling even if we may never see the results. But we also know that we are not alone, that God is always with us. In remaining true to our faith, especially in the middle of storms, we will, in the end, stand with the righteous in heaven. The wicked will be gone and only those who were strong in the righteousness of their faith will remain standing.

Lord, strengthen our faith, especially during the storms that come into our lives. Help us to remain righteous so that we can be examples of faithful courage to others. Help us to endure all our storms with patient endurance, always trusting in your grace and in your will for us. We pray that, on the Last Day, we may be able to stand with the righteous in your presence. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen!

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Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site blog.