The words “storm” and “blessing” would not usually be found in the same sentence. Storms leave devastation, despair and even death in their wake. But meteorologists and geologists alike have concluded that thunderstorms, cyclones and hurricanes, although incredibly destructive, do in fact bring benefits.
The Growth-Enabling Effects of a Storm
Storms frequently provide desperately needed rain to areas stricken with drought. Also, lightning in storms can have a fertilizing effect on the soil. Nitrogen is one of fertilizer’s main ingredients. As it splits through the sky, lightning changes nitrogen gas in the air to nitrogen compounds, which fall to the ground and are added to the soil.1 Additionally, the wind of a hurricane just about to make landfall can blow spores and seeds further inland, bringing life to new areas.
The Lord often allows us to experience the storms of life, knowing that although they will bring pain and even sorrow, they also enable needed growth and fruit for our benefit and for the blessing of others.
The Purging Effects of a Storm
During the summer, haze, dust and other pollutants come together in the lower atmosphere. As the air rises, either in thunderstorms or cumulus clouds, these pollutants are spread higher up into the atmosphere and purged out of the air by the falling rain.2 Another purging effect of storms occurs as hurricanes and cyclones move across the ocean. Their winds and waves toss the contents of the water. This mixing breaks up patches of bacteria that lurk in the water.
Storms can often have a purging effect in a believer’s life as self-dependence is necessarily blown away and we find our refuge in God alone (Psa 46; Isa 25:4). During the trials of life, we may often say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust” (Psa 91:2 KJV).
The Balancing Effects of a Storm
One of a hurricane’s achievements is to provide a better balance of temperatures between the poles and earth’s equator. The equator receives more solar energy, called insolation, than any other latitude on a yearly average. This resulting insolation warms the ocean temperature, which in turn warms the air above it. The earth is always trying to balance this warmth around the world, and hurricanes are one of the ways this is done.3 Another balancing effect of storms takes place as lightning falls during a thunderstorm, allowing the earth to be recharged and to maintain its proper electrical balance.
There are times when our lives as believers become harmfully imbalanced, and the inevitable storms of life rearrange, with their winds, our priorities in a beneficial way. But to be clear, we may never know why some storms break upon us. Job was never told why a tsunami of suffering was sent his way. But because the sovereign Lord always allows a storm, we can be confident that there must be some blessing in it, for He will do no less for His people than He does for this earth.
1 Oard, Michael. The Weather Book. (Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 1997).