Tag Archives: storms of life

Seeing God

One of the hardest things to do is to see God in the middle of our struggles. I’ve found that the further away from it I am, the more I can see what God was doing. Even now, God is showing me things that He was doing two years ago in our lives. At the time, it was like we were in the middle of a tornado that was ripping through our lives, uprooting everything. We shed tears, asked God where was He in all of it and began to lose hope.

Because our outside world was crumbling, our inside world began to get affected. Like Peter, who took his eyes off Jesus as he walked on water, our hearts and minds began to sink within us. When that happens, it becomes very difficult to see God. We become more concerned with finding answers than finding God. We look at everything that’s going on instead of at the One who holds us in His hands.

In Matthew 5:8, Jesus was speaking to a crowd from the side of a hill overlooking the Sea of Galilee. One of the things He said was, “You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world” (MSG). For many of us, including myself, it takes a while for us to get our inside world put back in place to be able to see God in our outside struggles. I believe He is telling us that we can have that peace and clarity in our storms though.

If you’re going through a difficult time right now, pray that God would help you get your inside world right. Ask Him to help you to keep your eyes on Him, and to trust Him. Remember that He is your refuge and protector. He knows that without struggles we can’t get stronger. He uses them to prune us and transplant us so we can experience more life. Even if you have to rebuild your life after the storm, it will be better and stronger than before. Also, don’t forget to look back. The more you look back and see God in your past, the easier it is to see Him in your present.

Photo by Chris Lawton on Unsplash

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When The Storms Come


When I was a child, we used to sing, “The wise man built his house upon the rock… The rains came down and the floods went up… And the house on the rock stood firm.” Of course there was the verse where the house of the man man who built on the sand went splat! The song was taken from the parable of Jesus in Matthew 7:24-27. Jesus spoke of the importance of having a good foundation in construction, in life, or in anything really.

If you’re going to build anything, it’s only as good as the foundation it’s on. Ive read that when they build skyscrapers, they usually have to dig down until they hit bedrock. Sometimes they have to dig up to 150 feet so they can build it on a firm foundation. If they don’t do that, nothing else matters. When the winds hit it or any other storm does, it will come crashing down. You are I are building more than a skyscraper. Were building a life.

Storms are going to come. We will all experience them. That’s why having such a good foundation is important. Proverbs 10:25 says, “When the storms of life come, the wicked are whirled away, but the godly have a lasting foundation” (NLT). Storms not only test what you’re built on, they reveal it. Even if a storm wipes out everything you’ve built, if you have a sure foundation, you can build again.

So how do we build a strong foundation that lasts? Before Jesus told the parable, He said, “Anyone who listens to my teachings and follows it is wise, like a man who built his house on solid rock.” It’s not enough to just hear or know what Jesus said. You have to obey it and live it out. You can build your life on God’s Word because after heaven and earth pass away, His Word will still remain. It is truth. It is life. It is a firm foundation that won’t give way when the storms come. 

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Storms Are Temporary


One of my favorite stories when I was younger was “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”. Back then, I thought it was hilarious, but now I can relate. If you’ve lived, you’ve experienced days like Alexander. But what happens when the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day turns into a week, a month, or even longer? How do we respond? How do we recover? How do we survive? Periods of things seemingly always going wrong in our lives can be relentless, but they do come to an end.

When they do occur, I recommend going back to God’s Word. When we go through days, weeks, or months of things going wrong, we risk thinking that those circumstances are our truth. We begin to think that this is how life is and will be for us. That’s why it’s so important to force yourself to go back to God’s Word. It alone is your truth. You can’t afford to let those storms define you. Instead, let God’s Word define your storm.

One of the things I pray over people going through rough times is that God would silence the storm. I also pray that if the storm isn’t over, to give them peace in it until it passes. Hard times play a huge role in your development. It’s part of the growing process and the solidifying process. God uses them to place you on a path you could never get on otherwise, and He uses them to cause your roots to grow deeper into Him. Spending time in prayer will help this process. Prayer puts God and your storm in their proper places and helps you keep perspective as to which is bigger.

There’s an Irish proverb that says, “In times of trouble, friends are recognized.” In your hardest times, it’s important to surround yourself with friends who can pray for you, encourage you, and help you win the mental battle. Your true friends will shine in these times of your life. They’ll walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death with you. They’ll defend you while you are defenseless. If you don’t see friends coming to you, they may not see the storm you’re facing. Go to those you can confide in and find shelter. If they don’t know you’re struggling and in a storm, it’s unfair to expect them to help you.

Remember that according to Romans 8:37, you are more than a conqueror through Jesus. In Ephesians 6:10-18, you have been given armor to help you to continue to stand after you e given it your all. In Matthew 16:18, Jesus told Peter that all the powers of hell would not conquer His Church. As a Christian, you have all three of these promises to hold onto. You cannot be defeated unless you give up. You are guaranteed victory, but you have to stay in the battle to achieve it. Your terrible, horrible, no good very bad time will end and you will emerge victorious. Focus on what’s eternal (God’s Word), and lose sight of the temporal (your storm).

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Faithless Panic


Sometimes at night, I’ll send my son to his room to get his pajamas. He’ll get to the stairs and say, “Are you watching me?” After he turns on the light, he goes up the stairs. He asks again then turns on the hallway light. I watch him as he walks across the balcony and gets to his room, but that when he stops. He peers into the dark room and asks, “Can you come with me?” I get frustrated and tell him to turn on the light, but his fear keeps him outside the door. I remind him that I’m watching him, but he wants me to come turn it on before he enters.

It can be a nightly thing sometimes. I try to explain to him that his fear is in his head and that he can just walk in. I remind him that there are other times when I’m going up the stairs behind him, and he runs into the dark room hiding in the darkness. It proves he has the ability to go in the dark room, but that doesn’t stop him from panicking during times when he’s just as secure. To silly from my perspective and also frustrating that he doesn’t get it.

I think that’s how Jesus felt when he was sleeping on a boat they were all on. A violent storm arose and the disciples panicked. They went to Jesus, woke Him up, and said, “Lord save us, we are going to die!” (AMP) Isn’t that how it usually goes. We let our fear of whatever cause us to panicky to the point we think we’re going to die, and we flip out. It’s often as silly and frustrating to God as my son’s irrational fear of taking two steps into his room to turn on the light.

In Matthew 8:26, Jesus woke up and said, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” I wonder how many times Jesus says that to us when we are in a panic, banging on Heaven’s doors with prayer. What often seems so big, daunting, and scary to us is so little to Him, and He wonders why we don’t trust Him more. Has He failed you before? Has He left you? No. He’s still in the boat with you. Have faith that whatever has you panicking right nows under His control. He’s watching you and won’t let you down. Have faith that He will be true to His promise to never leave you nor forsake you. Even if things don’t go the way you want, they go according to His plan and purpose got you. He sees the bigger picture. 

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Storm Shelter


In 1997, I was the director of a preschool. On February 10th, there was a terrible storm that was raging outside. When I looked out the window, the rain was going parallel with the ground. I yelled to all the teachers to get their kids to the hallway for shelter. After about 30 minutes the storm died down. I called to check on my mom, who was battling cancer. She said, “What storm?” Exasperated, I asked, “Are you kidding? We just had a tornado go over us!”

She called out to my uncle who was there with her to ask him about the storm. He was dumbfounded too. He asked, “Has it been raining?” I told them to look outside. Every house that had property touching theirs had trees down. Some had them crashed through their roofs. When they walked out into their yard, there wasn’t even a limb on the ground. It was like there was a bubble over the yard. God knew the storm we were about to endure and spared us from having to deal with house and property damage.

God doesn’t give us a trouble free life. He doesn’t stop storms from raging all around us, but He does protect us in them. Just like He did for my parent’s yard, He can give us peace in the storm. He can protect you from the damaging affects of it. The rain in your life may be going sideways and there may be tornadoes overhead, but God protects His people in times of trouble. He is a shelter to all who call on Him. The storms can destroy everything around you, but if you trust in Him, He will be by your side through it.

Nahum 1:7 says, “The Lord is good; he protects his people in times of trouble; he takes care of those who turn to him” (GNT). The writer is very clear that we are not exempt from times of trouble. He wants us to know that we have somewhere to go in those times. Just like I took the kids to the safest place in the building, our safest place is with God. He is our shelter and protector. He will walk with you through whatever you’re going through today. You don’t have to face it alone. Turn to Him and ask for His protection. He’s better than any storm shelter you will find.

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Enduring The Storm


Several years ago I lived in Cairo, Egypt. At certain times I would be about my business when I would notice people begin to scurry and panic a bit. I would then turn around to look at the dessert to see a dust storm coming. It would look like a huge brown wall from ground to sky getting bigger as it approached. I was given a warning when I first moved there. I was told that if I ever saw that, take cover and wait it out in a building. If I got caught in it, I wouldn’t be able to see and could get lost or possibly die.

Some storms that come into our lives are like that. They come when we least expect them and they’re blinding. If we don’t act quickly, we can lose sight of where we are going, lose our way, or feel like we’d rather die. These storms that pop up out of nowhere can be very dangerous if we don’t take shelter from them. You never know how long they’ll last, but if you’ve taken shelter in God, you can weather any storm.

Most of the early chapters of Isaiah are about the Lord’s wrath against cities and countries. It’s about destruction that God is going to bring on the ungodly. But in chapter 25, Isaiah begins to praise the Lord for His awesome power and ability to destroy. In verse 4, he reminds us who God is in the storm. He wrote, “But you are a tower of refuge to the poor, O LORD, a tower of refuge to the needy in distress. You are a refuge from the storm and a shelter from the heat” (NLT).

Just like I was able to run into a building when a dust storm was coming, we can find our reprieve in Him. Too many times though, we try to fight the storm in our own strength. We try to weather it on our own. I can tell you that’s very tiring and will wear you out. I’ve tried that strategy. I ended up laid out on my living room floor exhausted from the battle before I cried out to the Lord for shelter. In our own strength we can’t endure very long, but we are stubborn and try.

It takes humility to admit you can’t do it. You can choose to humble yourself and seek God for shelter or the storm can humble you. God would rather we admit up front that there’s nothing we can do on our own to fight the storm. He would rather we admit we can’t do it in our own strength, and that we go to Him for His. Don’t let pride stand in your way and keep you from praying, “Lord, I need you to shelter me from this storm. I can’t endure it on my own. I need your help.” When we humble ourselves, He us faithful and His grace is sufficient to cover you and to help you endure.

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Lead Me To The Rock

This morning I have the lyrics of Paul Baloche’s song “Lead Me To The Rock” going through my mind. The first verse says, “When my heart is overwhelmed, and my eyes are blind to you, and the pain of life is too heavy to bear, and then the mountains seem so high, and my faith’s too weak to climb, lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” The song is based on Psalm 61:2 that says, “From the ends of the earth, I cry to you for help when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the towering rock of safety.”

Each of us face difficult times in life. Then there are those times when the rain doesn’t seem to stop. The bad things pour on you. The bad news keeps coming. It can feel like you’re going to drown in sorrow. You think, “I don’t know what I’ll do if I get one more piece of bad news.” It’s in those times that your prayer should be like David’s in this Psalm. Ask God to lead you to the rock that’s higher than you are.

I know what’s it’s like to feel like the bottom is falling out from under you constantly. When you’re looking for something, anything solid enough to stand on. You can go to God in those times. He is the rock that you can stand on. A sure foundation in times of trouble. When you’re feeling overwhelmed by all that is going on in your life, you can call out to Him. I can let you know that in my own life, when I’ve done that, He has shown up and rescued me. He has walked through the storms with me.

When your mountains are so high and your faith is too weak to climb, reach out and take Jesus by the hand. He will walk with you in the times when you don’t know where to turn. He will stand with you when everyone else seems to turn away. He doesn’t always take the rain away, but He does stand with you in the storm. He has a purpose in the storms you face. Sometimes it’s to teach you to walk on water and other times to show you that He’ll catch you when you’re drowning.

Whatever you’re facing today, stop and pray that God would lead you to the rock. Don’t get caught up in all the bad news to the point that you forget where your faith lies. As Peter was going under during the storm, after having walked on water, he called out, “Lord, save me!” In Matthew 14:31, the Bible says, “Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him.” The storm didn’t stop until later, but that didn’t matter because he had the hand of the one whom the wind and seas obey. If you’re overwhelmed today, call out to Him and take His hand.

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