“Then they cry to the Lord in their trouble, and He brings them out of their distresses. He calms the storm, so that its waves are still. Then they are glad because they are quiet; so He guides them to their desired haven. Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! Psalm 107:28-31 (NJKV).
I am pretty certain that everyone who stops by and reads my blog page is quite familiar with “the storms of life.” Cloudy skies, gusting winds, stormy waters, and pouring rain are all signs of STORM within the atmosphere. Yet these same signs can be present in our daily lives as we experience storms in our homes, our relationships, our work places, our communities, and in our own bodies. Storms can build up and roll in gradually, or come about quickly, almost unexpected. Storms howl and hinder and create the worst kind of havoc. Storms can be utterly devastating, leaving a path of destruction in its wake that is hard to recover from. No one likes to go through a period of storms in their life. Yet, each one of us, at one point of time or another, will experience the storms of life.
The question is, what do we do in the midst of those storms? How do you cope with them? Is it possible to survive the worst of the storms, and come out of it in one piece? What can we do to help weather the storms of life when they hit us? I’d like to share ten things that we need to know about the storms of life. Ten things that just might help us survive and come out of the storm only to find rest in a safe, calm haven.
Storms come to us all. Every one of us will face times in life when the seas rumble and roar around us, when our ships (our very beings) are tossed to and fro, when we fear for our very lives, when we simply don’t know what to do. We can expect storms as a part of our living.
Storms can (and often do) come at us unexpectedly. They have a way of catching us off guard. They can even throw us overboard if we are not careful.
When we are caught in that tempestuous storm of life, and we are being tempest-tossed by the wind and waves, know that there is a Master of that storm. Someone is in control of it. Our storm of life may be a storm that we brought on ourselves by something that we did. Our storm of life may be a tool that Satan is using to cause havoc and shipwreck and even ruin. Our storm of life may be guided by God to bring us to a point of faith and trust in Him alone. And we have to know that if God is the Master of our storm, then this storm will not cease until the Master says, “Peace, be still!”
During our storm of life, we can choose to aimlessly drift as the storm rages around us. But this choice comes with a serious warning: More damage to our vessel is caused by aimlessly drifting, and shipwreck is almost certain. Prepare a plan in advance, consider what you will do when the storms come. Have a plan of action. Plan not to drift about aimlessly.
During the storm of life we can choose not to despair. Yes, we may have to ride the storm out, and endure whatever comes our way. But as we ride the wave, we need not despair. Seek God in the storm. Set our eyes upon Him, watch for His deliverance and we will not despair. Hang on to the hope that He gives us for such a time. Hope in His presence, for He is with you in the storm. Hope in His purpose; every storm has a purpose, and in time, God will reveal that to you. Hope in His promises; oh so many of God’s precious promises can be claimed during the storm. There is no need to despair when we have a solid hope that is found in our Savior.
During the storm, drop your anchor! For the Christian, our anchor is the very Word of God! Wrap your heart around that anchor, drop it into the storm – it will help you remain steady, strong, and stable. As the winds and waves whip around you, God’s Word is the anchor that enables you to focus not upon the storm as much as the Master of the storm. Get into God’s Word; read it, meditate upon it, obey it, wrap your heart and soul around it. Let God’s Word be the anchor that it is to you!
During the storm, don’t forget about nourishment. We need the spiritual nourishment of God’s Word in our heart and life during any storm. But we also need to be reminded at times, to seek physical nourishment. Eat well. Eat often. Eat even when you don’t feel like it. Eat and nourish your body, heart and soul.
Wait out the storm. No matter how long, wait it out. No matter how battered you feel, wait it out. No matter if you feel all hope is gone (if God is present, hope is still there!), wait it out. No matter if you crash, wait it out. God has a purpose for the storm of life you endure, wait it out. He wants you to learn valuable lessons, wait it out. He wants to be your savior in that storm, wait it out. He wants to hear your cries for help, and as you pray to Him, wait it out. He wants to show you what He can do, wait it out.
At the end of the storm, praise the God of the storm. Praise Him all the more when He speaks peace into your storm and brings calm back into your life. Praise God for His grace in the midst of that storm. It is by grace and grace alone that we have come through the storms of life. We will survive to tell the story of the storm.
Don’t be afraid to share your personal story of storms you have endured. For in the sharing, you may be the instrument God uses to help save another in their storm. Your story will inspire those who hear it. Your story can be used to save a life. Your story will bring praise, honor and glory to your God.
Storms of life happen! To all of us. When the storms of life come, know that you are never alone in the midst of them. God will be ever present with you in the storm. He keeps His promise to “never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). Never be afraid to call out to God during your next storm. He will be listening for your cry. And He will answer you. In Him and His Word, through His grace, you will find an anchor for your soul, that will carry you safely through the storm. But remember, the cry must come before the calm! Trust your next storm of life to the One who hears your cry and to the One who brings the calm after the storm. He will carry you through the storm to a place of calm and safe haven!
Kathy O’Brien is a dedicated follower of Jesus Christ with a passionate message for others to “Come Follow Jesus” with me. She has served as a missionary teacher in Edinburgh, Scotland and Liverpool, England. It was while in England she met and married her English sweetheart, Andrew. They currently reside in Tucson, Arizona, USA where they are team-teaching Chinese children. Kathy is the founder and director of Word of Truth Ministries. Within that ministry she offers (1) Free Bible correspondence lessons for children and teens, (2) Bible study groups for women and (3) mentoring and encouraging others who are walking the Christian life with her.
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