I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “Every cloud has a silver lining,” but what does this phrase mean to you—and more important, do you look for the positive outcome in stormy situations? I like to define this phrase as a time in our lives when things seem to be going wrong, but we believe that God does indeed have a plan for us and our difficulties will soon pass. We somehow find the faith that things will be better soon. We look past the storm and realize that every cloud has a silver lining.
I thought of this recently when my friend Ken from Houston posted some awesome photos of clouds after a storm on Facebook. Ken had just stepped outside his front door after a heavy storm and took these pictures with no special photographic effects.
Ken described the event: “Between Heaven and Earth—Thunder storms were on the move for my Fourth of July in East Texas. These images were made over a 15-minute span as clouds morphed and diffracted sunlight added ethereal highlights…just before we were drenched by heavy rainfall.”
I was so struck by Ken’s beautiful photography that I almost cried. It reminded me to ask myself, “How often do I really look for the silver lining in every situation?”
I thought back to many years ago when I first was going through my divorce. I had also lost my job and experienced the death of a family member—all in the same week! It was a difficult time in my life, but I mustered up my courage, and I made myself take a step forward on the path to creating a new life. I had sunk so low I was literally sleeping on an old mattress on the floor after my soon-to-be ex-husband took all the furniture.
I decided then and there—a bit dramatically like Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With The Wind—“With God as my witness, I will never end up here again!” I looked outside my window. The rain clouds had just exhausted themselves, and there was beautiful sunlight and brightly colored clouds with the pinkest hue twinkling at me. I had found my silver lining: these events were making me a much stronger person. Today, I have a wonderful new life because of these experiences.
Yes, Mother Nature can create the most amazing beauty after a storm . . . And every cloud does have a silver lining. We just need to set a positive expectation in the midst of our storms and know these experiences will allow us to grow in strength . . . and perhaps even in wisdom.
This week I will focus on the silver lining in any negative situation that may crop up in my life, knowing it’s only temporary. I invite you to do the same—and share with me your moment of finding the silver lining.