“When the storms of life rage, He is God. When there is a downpour of blessings, He is God, and when battles are won, He is still God. No season can ever change who He is.” (Gugu Mona)
Storms are “violent disturbance of the atmosphere marked by wind and usually accompanied by rain, thunder, lightning, snow, hail or sleet.”(Merriam Webster Dictionary, 2020) Tornadoes, thunderstorms, hurricanes and blizzards are all different types of storm.
In our lives, we will face many storms, that is, any situation or circumstance that not only threatens our peace of mind, but also challenges our faith and our values. Life’s storms can come in any form: sickness, unemployment, loss of a loved one, broken relationships, divorce and the list goes on. Sometimes, unfortunately, we may experience one storm after another and when this happens, we may begin to feel like a tree branch being tossed back and forth by the winds. We begin to feel as though we are sinking deep and gasping for air as the storms of life seek to drown us in fear and despair. In these moments, we can feel so alone, so lost without direction or a way of escape. In these moments, we must cling to what we know, we must assure ourselves that our anchor holds.
In the Caribbean, during the hurricane season, persons are encouraged to follow basic steps to ensure that they, their families and their properties are protected should a hurricane arise. These steps may include stocking the house with food, medication, water and emergency supplies. It may also include cutting down trees that may fall and cause damage.
Similarly, we too must prepare ourselves for personal storms. Although we don't know when one will form and come blowing at the walls of our faith, we must ensure that our faith is built on a solid foundation. We must ensure that our faith is firmly grounded like the “wise man who built his house on the rock. 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.” (Matthew chapter 7 verses 24-25) To build that strong foundation, we must:
1. Spend time in God’s Word. We must cultivate the habit of spending time in God’s Word for ourselves. As we do, we begin to learn what the Bible teaches us about who God is (His character) and His heart toward man. As we begin to dwell in His Word, we become more mature Christians and as we walk in obedience to His Word, our confidence in Him grows. This is important because when the storms come, we will be able to trust the heart of God. We will believe that whatever happens, He is still in control because He is Sovereign.
2. Pray without ceasing. It is so easy to pray, rejoice and to give thanks when things are good; it is a lot harder to do it when storm clouds are forming over our heads. Prayer is our direct connection to God and when we develop the habit of praying, it becomes second nature. Therefore, when the storm comes, it will be easier to communicate to God and pour out our fears and concerns to Him.
The Apostle Paul encourages us to “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1st Thessalonians chapter 5 verses 16-18) This means that we should be steadfast in our praise and prayers to God even while experiencing pain and suffering. In fact, during these moments we ought to cling to Christ more, because it is easy to lose sight of Jesus when the storm is raging on.
Importance of Storms
Storms are important to the ecosystem because they help to regulate climate by moving heat energy from the equator to the poles and thereby keeping the earth’s temperature stable. They also help to provide rainfall to areas that may be experiencing drought. Life’s storms, though usually unwanted and untimely, are also beneficial.
1. They help to build our faith in God. As we go through our storms, we learn to let go of our self-created clutches and hold on to God. During storms we can experience God doing something powerful and even miraculous in our lives.
2. We are able to strengthen others. When we go through our storms, we learn how to comfort and motivate others as they go through theirs. We become our brother's keeper.
3. We have a testimony. We can now share with confidence what the Lord has done for us. This too causes others to join in, in glorifying God with us.
4. We ourselves become stronger. Our storms help us to develop character. As we journey through them, we learn the disciplines of prayer, self-control, patience and steadfastness. “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” (James chapter 1 verses 2-3)
Whatever storms we may face in life, we must remember that our Lord will always journey with us. The eye of the storm, which is in the centre, is the most peaceful part of a hurricane. Allow Jesus to be the eye of your storm, that is, the peace in your situation and the centre of your life, and as you do, draw your strength from Him and allow Him to sustain you, until the storm passes by.
“The Lord gives strength to His people. The Lord blesses His people with peace.” (Psalm chapter 29 verse 11)
Rose-Ann Durant is a young Christian from Kingston, Jamaica, who is currently living in the island of Barbados. She is an ardent reader who enjoys going to the beach, river and spending time outdoors.