One afternoon, the kids and I were out shopping at a local store for a few items. We checked out, were walking to the car, and just as I unlocked the doors, it started pouring out of no where. Like literally, soaking -wet- sloshy- shoes kind of rain. It was cloudy, but no real indication that it was going to rain cats and dogs.
So, in this case we made it to the car just in time, and watched as others sprinted inside the store. But, sometimes we aren’t so lucky and we get caught without warning.
In life, this is usually the case. When a storm comes along and blind-sides us, its never with a warning sign. Don’t you wish unexpected things came with a warning sign? Wouldn’t that be great to know ahead of time on Monday morning at 8:30am you’re going to have a flat tire driving the kids to school. This would make life a lot easier to prepare. (still not convenient).
However, this is not life. We always need to be prepared by living for Jesus and trusting in his word. Having a peace about us that if something does come along it doesn’t shake us so hard that we can’t get back on track. I have been studying the book of Philippians and chapter 4 verse 4 says “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I will say, rejoice.” Verse 5 says “The Lord is at hand.”
Now, I will admit I am probably the first one to get anxious and nervous when too much is on my plate, but I have to remind myself that if I feel like this, I am taken on too much. I have taken on too may projects, my kids are in too many activities, or worse I have placed too many “perfections” on myself. This is usually when I notice life storms raging around me and anxiety levels rise. But, Jesus reminds us that we should Rejoice in the Lord always. Not only when things are going great or when life is as we expect…but always.
I think I have a little OCD and I’m praying about this, but I love to keep a schedule. It keeps me on track and accountable. Now, I am a stickler when it comes to my kids and their bedtime. Ive always felt if they get more sleep they will be better prepared at school. So, one evening they should have been in bed about 40 minutes earlier and I was stressing about how they were going to feel when they woke up. What if they are tired tomorrow? What if they can’t think as well due to lack of sleep? What if they can’t perform in sports because they didn’t get the proper amount of sleep? Seriously, am I the only one that stresses that bad.
The next day, what I found was that my kids were fine and I suffered from a headache. Okay, stupid right. Like I said I’m praying for more peace in this area. I have learned to stop and breath, and we start getting ready for bed earlier to give them extra time for you know that “I-forgot-to-put-something-in-my-backpack” rant. (smile if you can relate).
Now that was obviously an example and it didn’t cause that much havoc where it ruined our evening, but in life we do face serious issues that have a very lasting impact on out lives. Rejoice!
Phil 4:8– “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are good, report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy- meditate on these things.” To me, this says that even in the midst of a storm, when I want to give up and throw in the towel, when I feel hopeless…meditate on the things that are going right. Praise God for those moments and don’t allow the current storm to cause me to lose sight of all the blessings that God has blessed me with.
Its not easy. Its not pretty. It may be painful. Rejoice! If we know that God is in control and knows, sees, and hears everything, then truly what do we have to fear? Another verse in Philippians that is one of my favorite verses in the Bible is Phil 4:13– “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Do you really believe this or just preach it? I encourage you to write this verse down, post it everywhere, and say it over and over again out loud. When faced with a difficult decision, this verse can carry you through the tough times. I mean that! There is so much power in your words when spoken out loud.
The storms of life serve a purpose to teach us something, to help us with something, to guide us with something, to bring hope, faith, to help someone else. Ah, now thats one you may not have thought of. Our storms may be for someone else. We may learn a lesson that we can share and pass on with someone who needs encouragement. I truly believe that storms of life are not necessary restricted to ourselves. We often say “why is this happening to me?” Could it be God is working through you for someone else. The storm is directed to you, for Gods glory, for someone else. Think about that.
Today, as you are coming out of a storm, going into one, or will face one in the future…remember that storms of life will come, but Stand Firm like a tree with deep roots. It can’t be moved. It is not shaken.
I encourage you to first seek your creator for hope and strength when storms arise.