The middle of the storm El Nino
While El Niño only occurs in the tropics, its impact is felt in many parts of the world. This happens because the location of the huge mass of warm water causes the location of the jet stream, or storm track, to shift. As a consequence some regions can become warmer or colder, or wetter or drier, than normal. This warming is called El Niño, referring to the “Christ child” because its effects are greatest in the winter and often disrupt fishing along the South American coast around Christmas., not all El Niños have the same strength or location, and consequently their impacts can vary significantly. Niño is not some sort of large super storm that sits over an area for the winter. You will never see it on a satellite , a radar image or with your binoculars at the beach! It simply causes a pattern change that sometimes leads to more precipitation events through the course of the year.
Similarly the storms of our lives often are undetected with the naked eye and yet they can cause a pattern change that has an ongoing impact for quite a long time!
I think about the storm that the disciples experienced when Jesus was in the boat sleeping. Mark 4:36 says, “And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him.” I think about all those other boats that faced the storm without Jesus in the boat with them! I am so grateful that through all the storms of my life I have God in my boat! And I am once again reminded of how important it is to tell others about “el Nino” in their own boats as they face El ninos or other storms!