You’ve heard the famous idiom saying: “calm before the storm”. The “calm before the storm” typically refers to a period of relative quiet or relaxation prior to a time of intense activity or uproar. This phrase is typically used as an analogy between the literal calm that can often be felt prior to the arrival of a powerful meteorological event and a period of quiet before a flurry of events or excitement.
As an idiom, the “calm before the storm” is often used interchangeably with similar phrases that replace the word “calm” with “quiet” or “lull.” This phrase refers to a period of calm and quiet that a person might experience prior to a time of great activity, though it is not necessarily meant to literally indicate that a storm is approaching. Instead, the “calm before the storm” typically refers to a symbolic calm or storm, such as the time when a parent is relaxing prior to his or her children coming home from school.
There is also a literal calm before the storm in some instances, which is the basis for this particular idiom. As storms develop and move, especially thunderclouds and large storm fronts, air is typically pulled up into them from below. This warm, moist air is cooled and moves upward through the clouds, leaving a vacuum in its place, which is then filled by warm air coming from the top of the storm front. When this occurs in the direction a storm is heading, it can produce an environment that is calm and quiet, sometimes eerily calm, which is quickly followed by the onset of the storm itself.
There are other, similar idioms often used in place of this idiom, including “after a storm comes there is a calm.” Rather than referring to the sense of quiet that can precede a period of great activity, this instead indicates that after this period of activity there may be another time of quiet. This later period, however, may be either a positive or negative concept, since it might indicate a time of peace and relaxation or a time of quiet contemplation of the devastation wrought by a powerful storm.
There are times in life when we know the idiom to be true “a calm before the storm” but then there is the other side of paying attention to the “storm before the calm”. In other words, there are times when we need the storm to slow us down and calm us down to a place of humility because we’ve tried to live life by ourselves without God’s help. It’s called “ego-tripping”. Ego-tripping is when we’ve made ourselves bigger than life itself in our own heads.
At the root of egotism is self. Egotism is ultimately driven by pride and thinking oneself worthy of the utmost attention or capable of complete self-sufficiency. At times, an egoist may be motivated by past hurt. Betrayal, abuse, or abandonment may cause a person to believe he must always look out for himself—because no one else will. Rather than trust others, someone who has been hurt may isolate herself and believe she can only trust herself. Though not pride as we would generally conceive of it, this is still an unbiblical stance that raises self to the status of a god. The Bible speaks against, and God soundly dealt with egotists such as King Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 4. We also see how God prevented Paul from becoming egotistical after seeing a vision in 2 Corinthians 12 by placing a thorn in his flesh and denying Paul’s request to remove it not one time but three times. God said, “No, I’m not going to remove it!”
God has issue with ego!
However, He, God, has left us with preventative instructions to live in this life without ego-tripping in 1 Peter 5: 5-6: “Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you”.
Be clothed is a verb in this verse on humility. It means to knot or band by which two things are fastened together, to fasten or gird one's self. Therefore, 1 Peter 5:5 ("gird yourselves with humility as your servile garb") encourages Christians to show their subjection one to another by putting on humility.
Humility is the intentional act of making sure you’re properly dressed before walking out the door each day.
Put it on and look good for God!
P.S. I will write what humility looks like in the next blog.