Today much of the Midwestern and Eastern part of the Country woke to snow measured in feet, not inches and temperatures below zero. The News channels covered stories of multitudes of people converging on stores to pick up the essentials necessary to weather the storm, heeding the warnings they had received about the coming blizzard. I recall living on the coast of Florida that most of the homes had hurricane shutters that could be closed to minimize the damage from storms that were a given for their area. In the Midwest tornado alley many homes have storm cellars to escape the winds of tornado season. In some Gulf States homes on the beach are built on stilts to encounter the high surge of water that comes with their seasonal storms. In each case provisions are made to enable the structures to survive inevitable storms they are sure to encounter.
Our lives are going to encounter storms. It’s not a matter of if but when. In fact as believers we are told in more than one place in the New Testament that we will face storms in our lives. Jesus said that in this life we would have troubles. Comforting, isn’t it! We may have to weather storms of divorce, storms of bad health or disease, storms of unemployment or failing businesses, storms of unexpected loss of loved ones or just the storm of depression or loneliness. As I write I’m in the eye of a storm of my own. All of us at some point of our life will experience a major and unwelcome storm. We can’t escape life’s tragedies, unless you are like the blonde who heard that all accidents happen within a mile of where you live, so she moved! (Okay, if you are blonde change it to brunette). How we fare the severe weather has everything to do with how well prepared we are when it hits us.
For the believer there are essentials made available to us to navigate any kind of bad weather. We have The Word, our daily how-to manual for the Christian life. We have a 24 hour prayer channel for live chats with God. We have the support of brothers and sisters in the faith to hold us up and encourage us until the storms pass. We need to build our lives on these solid essentials. Jesus told a story about two builders of houses, one built on a solid foundation and one not so solid. The house built on the solid rock withstood the storm while the other crumbled. We have to presume from the story that both houses faces similar storms but with drastically differing results.
If you wait until you are snowed in or until the roads are washed out before you venture out to get what you need for the storm, you will find it too late or too difficult to acquire the proper supplies. While it is never too late to cry out to God or begin praying and studying The Word, you will find it much easier to handle a life crisis when you already have a good foundation of prayer and study habits. Jesus did say we’d have storms, but He also said to have no fear since He’d already overcome them for us. I like the verse in the popular 23rd Psalm, when we walk through the valley. Nothing is said of us passing over it or going around it, but that we have the tools needed to go through it.
No one likes storms. Even having the knowledge that sometimes God deliberately puts us in the midst of trials to teach us to depend on Him makes the storms no less welcomed. I’m weight training again and building stronger muscles requires pain and discomfort. The methods God uses to build us up are uncomfortable at best, and extremely painful at worst. But know that Jesus faced all these trials during His life on earth so we could have victory and peace when we pass through them if Christ is part of our storm kit. As painful or as lonely or isolated as you may feel in the midst of the storm, take comfort in knowing there is a calm waiting for us when it dies down, as it surely will.