As I reflect upon this last week, it is mostly with gratitude.
A lot happened this week as South Africa was hit with massive storms, flash floods and torrential rain on the back of a cyclone heading up to Madagascar.
Houses, cars and offices were damaged in the floods. Lives and homes were lost. Tragedy struck and despite the desperate need for rain, there was sorrow interspersed with the crisp freshness of new life beginning as the plants drank in much needed water. Dams were partially topped up and there was a mild relief from the drought we have been experiencing. People were snowed in and had to extend their skiing holidays due to the heavy snowfall.
Following the storms, beaches were covered with litter and debris as a result of an accumulation of human waste and disrespect for nature. People mourned the loss of lives that drowned or were washed away in freak flash floods. Heroes emerged saving a distressed woman from her sinking car. People came together to provide food and shelter for those who lost homes. Search parties were instigated in search of a missing woman- presumed drowned in the flash flood. A massive beach cleanup was initiated which had families spending their Saturday morning picking up plastic and litter from the beaches.
Amidst all of this daily life carried on. People went to work and continued as best they could. I had a massive week of mileage to get through in the pool off the back of a week being sick and not knowing if I had a big swim that I was planning coming up ahead. I was in some conflict wanting to tick the boxes and get the mileage done but not ruin my chance at a big swim. The heavy rains soon settled that dilemma. Sadly there would be no sea swimming for a while due to the litter and e-coli coming into the sea from the open river mouth.
I put my head down and pushed out some big mileage. There is a song I recently listened to which I love. It talks about finding peace amidst the storm and turmoil. Durban certainly experienced storms which created turmoil. But through it, People united together to clean up our city and help broken families in need.
It makes me smile when I see good come out of tragedy.
It makes me smile when I see good come out of tragedy. If nothing else, I swim to show that together we can make a difference to our city and world. Each little bit of littler collected helps. The beach cleanup was one example of what united people can achieve. It felt like as one or two people we didn’t even make a dent, but after an hour, we already saw a significant difference.
It is hard to imagine the massive destruction caused by two days of raging rain and winds when the rest of the week has been sunny skies and a shiny happy earth breathing new life in the form of green grass and soaked garden beds budding new green shoots.
Despite the turmoil and tragedy that people experience this past week and on a daily basis, the song below beautifully depicts how if we hold onto God, we will always find peace in the storm. It is with deep gratitude that I sit writing this in the comfort of my warm bed, full tummy and a roof over my head having ticked all the boxes of my training this week and having the luxury of being able to rest and prepare for whatever storms the new week may hold.
My heart a storm clouds raging from within. The prince of peace came bursting through the wind. The violent sky held its breath and in your light I found rest. Tearing through the night, riding on the storm, staring down the fight my eyes found yours shining like the sun, striding through my fear, the prince of peace met me there.
You heard my prayer.
Hope like the sun light piercing through the dark, the prince of peace came broke into my heart, the violent cross the empty grave and in your light I found grace.
You’re always there. You hear my prayer.
Your love surrounds me when my thoughts wage war. When night screams terrors there your voice will roar. Come death or shadow God I know your light will meet me there.
When fear comes knocking there you’ll be my guard, when day breeds trouble there you’ll hold my heart, come storm or battle God I know your peace will meet me there.
Again and again
Oh be still my heart I know that you are God. Oh fear no evil for I know you are here.
Hillsong United- Prince of Peace