She lost her marriage on Monday and her job on Tuesday. Although the marriage had been dissolving for 18 years, it was on this day she packed up her belongings and moved out. She would raise her children on a part time basis. Financial devastation, failure and guilt were among the other items she’d packed in her suitcase. “This is way too hard,” she spilled out as tears poured down her face.
This may not be your story, but if you’re like me you have your own. Your story may include times in your life that were hard… where you felt powerless and knocked off your stable foundation. Where everything you thought you knew suddenly became foreign. You were whisked away by the wind. The hail-stones pounded on your heart and mind.
Maybe yours was a hurricane-type storm with lasting consequences, changing the landscape of your circumstances. Or perhaps, your storm can be compared to a heavy rainstorm that just keeps you inside all day. Regardless, we all have them.
Jesus was in a storm… a real one. He was in a boat with his disciples sleeping when suddenly a storm appeared. The disciples were gripped with fear. Upon being awakened, Jesus didn’t get out of the boat and rescue himself. No, He stayed with them in the boat and then He calmed the storm. Jesus had all authority and all power. (Mark 4:35-41)
He is the One I want with me in my storm too!
Personal storms can make us feel like we’re drowning…gasping for air.
Wondering if we’ll ever breathe fresh air again or see the light of day.
Again on water, Jesus held out His hand to Peter and asked him to walk towards Him. Peter did. While he kept his eyes on Jesus, he walked. But the moment he looked away at the vastness of the sea…he saw the vastness of the wind and sea and became afraid. Then he began to sink. (Matthew 4:29)
Jesus is the One I need to keep my eyes on!
Once when I felt like I was sinking in despair a friend said to me, “God must want you to get to the bottom, grab a nugget of wisdom, and take it back to the top.” I liked that.
Storms are never a waste when we allow God to teach us while in them, when we learn to trust Him automatically and when we see the power of God more clearly.
How can we get through storms? I have found that when I go through tough times, these things helped me weather my storm and transformed me into a wiser and stronger woman:
1. Make these two words your daily prayer:Help me. Say it all day long. It admits
humility and places faith in the Father.
2. Ask God to open your eyes to see what He wants you to see. (Psalm 119:18)
3. Read a Psalm. Many Psalms boast of God’s power and bring us great joy. Others
are laments of sorrow, pain, and sadness and you won’t feel so alone.
4. Place a sticky note on your mirror, the front door, the refrigerator, the dashboard in your car…any place you look regularly to remind you to trust in Him. Write things like:
- God is working in my life and situation today!
- But you be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded. II Chron. 15:7 (NIV)
- God is enough.
- God is more powerful that my problem. Psalm 20:7-8 says, “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses, but we trust in God.” Today we could say, some trust in their attorney, their finances, or friends. But I trust the One with all the power!
- God’s strength is perfect in my weakness. (II Corn. 12:9)
- God is near me! (Psalm 34:18)
5. If the storm was brought on by a poor choice you made, then admit that your independence took you away from God’s throne to your own selfish desire, and be humbled.
6. Tell God the truth about how you are really feeling. Then stand on God’s truth:
- That God Loves you.
- That God forgives you
- That God cares about you and your future
- That God is in the business of turning things around.
7. Believe that God is powerful enough to carry you through the storm to peace.
8. Double your prayer time and Bible reading time. Psalm 119:92-93 says that unless God’s Word had been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction.
God isn’t surprised by the way we frantically run to God for His help. He
remembers that we were made from dust. He wants us to seek direction and a
safe shelter from the raging storms of life.
9. Take it one day at a time.
10. Every time you are reminded of the magnitude of your problem say “Jesus” aloud.
11. Seek counseling from a professional counselor who seeks wisdom from God,
and will commit to pray for you.
12. Speak positively about your future aloud.
Though You have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. Psalm 71:20 (NIV)
13. Guard your heart and mind by meditating on Scripture.
14. Confide in a friend who loves God, loves you, and won’t be intimidated to speak
the truth, be worried about disagreeing, and will hold you accountable.
15. Confess your sin. Then do not revisit your sins, grieving over them like
tombstones in a cemetery.
16. Sing praise songs.
17. Make a list of things you are thankful for.
Storms won’t last forever or destroy us! We have God’s precious promises to us:
When you walk though the fire, you shall not be burned.
Isaiah 43:2b (NKJV)
When I walk though the Valley of Weeping it will become a place of refreshing springs where pools of blessings collect after the rain. Psalm 84:6 (NLT)
Therefore we do not loose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction is for a moment and is working for us far exceedingly and eternal weight of glory. II Corn. 4:16-17
Now, no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:11 (NKJV)
We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed;
We are perplexed, but not in despair;
Persecuted but not forsaken;
Struck down, but not destroyed.
II Corn. 4:8-9
Like a parent holding her hurting child, God holds us during our hurting times! I love this visual. He’s got us!
My friends, God knows the ending to our stories…so, start looking for the rainbow!