It is very likely that each who read this article will have heard the word “hurricane” or “storm” a number of times this day and probably used them a few times as well. When a hurricane is approaching any area, it is wise to stay informed of where it is likely to hit, the strength of the storm and other pertinent information. Though this latest hurricane still has a ways to go to reach us as this is being written, we do already hope and pray that all will be well and remain safe through this storm. However the above being true, we still see a great abuse of presentation, notification and warnings in general concerning weather related incidents in our current society. It would seem that we have created the wimpiest generation of people to ever inhabit this orb called earth. In recent times, our weather prognosticators have decided that thunder storms ought to have names like hurricanes. This added name and then wall to wall, twenty-four hour a day television coverage with radar, commentators, on scene video of the wind blowing and the rain falling all tend to have people glued to their television sets and quaking in fear that their lives are going to end any minute.
Friends, let me assure you there have been thunder storms before they began to name them. In fact, there were thunder storms before you were ever born. Your great-great-great grandparents saw thunder storms. Thunder storms go all the way back to the days of Noah. There is really nothing spectacular, overly dangerous, historic, record making or otherwise newsworthy about them. They are common. Much more could be said about our tendency in this age to blow all kinds of things up to much greater import than they are worthy of, but we wish to make an application of this way of thinking that may help us in our spiritual lives.
There will always be rough weather ahead! The apostle Paul wrote, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (I Cor. 10:13). Though Paul specified “temptations” in this statement, this will also apply to every one of the storms of life that we may encounter. They are common to man. We may feel like we are facing trials, troubles, tribulations and temptations that far exceed what the average person has to face, yet others have been there long before us. They have already been through the thunder storms. It was also the apostle Paul who wrote, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (II Tim. 3:12). It is true that not everyone may have the same exact hardships that you are burdened with, but rest assured, they likely have burdens to.
Knowing that “thunder storms” will come, it would seem wise to give consideration to how we can prepare ourselves for them? It just may be that the number one reaction to “storms” is to stay calm yourself. People seem to get bent all out of shape over things that often turn out to be nothing serious in the first place, like getting all stressed out over a common thunder storm passing through the area. Concerning staying calm in what may be a bad time, some might say that is a lot easier said than done. Therefore, we wish to suggest a few helps along these lines.
First, in the first passages cited wherein Paul said that temptations were “common to man”, he also said, “…but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (I Cor. 10:13). Indeed we must take proper preparation for the storms of life, but even as we prepare, let us put some trust in the God of heaven. Paul had that kind of faith in Christ. He wrote, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Phil. 4:13). There are no storms in this life too big for God to overcome! When a storm on the sea of Galilee caused the disciples of Christ to fear they would perish, the Lord said, “Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm” (Matt. 8:23-26).
Secondly, feel free to call on the Lord for help in times of trial. When Peter overestimated his own faith and stepped out upon the waters of the sea of Galilee at a time when the wind was boisterous, he allowed the physical storm to distract him from his source for the ability to walk on the water (Matt. 14:22-30). Many have ridiculed Peter for this lapse of faith, but Peter did get out of the boat and walk on the water and when he was distracted, he did just exactly what he needed to do, he called upon the Lord for help (Matt. 14:30).
Indeed, storms will come, but if we will build properly, our dwelling will stand against all storms. Jesus said that those who heard His words and obeyed them was likened unto a wise man who built his house upon a rock. When the storms came, that house fell not: “for it was founded upon a rock”. (Matt. 7:24-25). Consider what is truly a storm and prepare accordingly. (Send any questions or comments to: [email protected])
Robert Oliver is a long time columnist for The Sampson Independent.