I have always loved the weather. Watching storms roll in has always given me a sense of awe at the wonder and power of God in nature. Whether it is a gentle or heavy rain, the sound and light display of a thunderstorm or the furry of a tornado, storms bring change.
In life we face storms as well. Sometimes they come because we live in a broken world. Other times, we face them because of someone else’s decision. We are just swept up into their storm. And yet many of our storms come because of our own decisions. These storms not only affect us but those around us as well.
We have this promise from God, He will make all things work for my good and His glory! (see Romans 8:28). If I have learned anything over the years, it is this, “Storms will come.” So how do we prepare for the storms we will face? First let’s look at some different kinds of storms.
A gentle rain is mostly inconvenient. We adjust outdoor plans, but we see the fruit of the rain when things green up and flowers bloom. In our lives we face some simple storms as well. They are mostly inconvenient. With a few adjustments, we are able to navigate them and are thankful for the growth we see in our lives at their passing.
Sometimes we face storms like a heavy rain. The creeks rise, sump-pumps run, and we have a heighten risk of our basement flooding, but again things return to normal quickly. These storms are followed with lush green yards and blooming flowers. These storms bring more challenges, but again with a few adjustments they pass quickly. We are grateful for the lessons we have learned.
Thunderstorms are a little different. They combine heavy rain with strong winds, sometimes hail and the threat of lightening. There is flash flooding, tree limbs down, loss of electricity, and fire from lightening strikes. People can die in these storms. But usually it is just physical damages. After the insurance and a little help from our neighbors, things are cleaned up the lawn is green and flowers are blooming again. When we face one of life’s thunderstorms, we find our lives are more than a little inconvenienced. There are real issues to face. Some relationships are at risk. There is usually damage to clean up and we often need our friends and sometimes professional help to sort it all out to discover what good God is bringing out of the thunderstorm in our life.
Tornados are thunderstorms on steroids. Everything is magnified exponentially. Not just a limb or two but whole trees are ripped up and tossed around. Houses are leveled. And the loss of life is imminent. Tornados do not just affect the major structures, they can drive a straw into a telephone pole. Restoration doesn’t just take a day or two, sometimes it takes years to see restoration after the devastating destruction tornados bring.
I read in a post from Ohio History Central, after the 1974 F5 Tornado that hit Xenia, OH, it took ten years to completely rebuild the city. During the same storm outbreak in ’74, I saw a tornado out the window of my third floor school classroom that totally destroyed a town and and a neighboring school. From my own experience, I remember families emotionally terrorized several years after from the horrific experience they had endured.
When a tornado hits our life, it seems all hell as been unleashed upon us. The major structures of our life are sometimes leveled. Often relationships are severed. It isn’t just the major parts of our lives that are disrupted, many times intricate details are blown up. Navigating the restoration of life from a tornado takes real effort and lots of time. You don’t get through it alone!
One of the things we say a lot at our church plant is “Jesus is the Author and Perfecter not just of our faith, but of the whole human experience.” Since He created life and then entered into it as a human, He alone has a perfect perspective on how to navigate life as a human.
Jesus had something to say about how to weather the storms of life. Read Matthew 7:24-27, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
Laying the foundation of your house is critical if it is going to weather the storms through the years. Laying the foundation for your life is just as critical to weathering the storms of life. Jesus said that applying His words to our lives will give stability to our lives when the streams rise and the winds blow!
In the next few blog posts, I want us examine our foundation and discover some truths to rebuild any areas that are susceptible to breakdown in life’s storms. I hope you will join me in Weathering the Storms.