Tackling the Storms of Life
How to Tackle the Storms of Life
Know the storm is coming.
Whether rain, hail, wind, snow, or sleet, storms are a part of our world. Cool air masses meet with warm air masses and the weather becomes unsettled.
Storms, especially wind storms and blizzards tend to drive away everything that is not nailed down. Flood waters lift and carry items with such force that it simply leaves one in amazement at the sight of the devastation left in the flood’s aftermath.
Freezing temperatures from snow and sleet can leave the unprepared outdoorsman with frostbite or worse.
That‘s why we must be prepared for the arrival of storms.
If we know that a storm is coming, we won’t be caught off guard.
In the same way, when spiritual forces of light meet with spiritual forces of darkness, struggles develop. The conflict that follows can leave our world in turmoil.
Troubles and trials that ensue cause us to cast off idols that cannot bring deliverance. Thus, we are driven to the refuge of the True Master.
Storms, both physical and spiritual, will come our way, but they need not find us unprepared.
Prepare for the storm’s arrival.
Storms can be gentle, but many times they are a source of great danger. Knowing how to prepare will keep us from being overly apprehensive when a serious storm is forecasted.
Adequate preparations may not prevent damage but will keep us from being caught defenseless.
Don’t let the storm find you unprepared.
Results from dangerous storms may include downed power lines, fallen trees, structural damage, water-covered bridges, tainted water supplies, and even mud slides. Being prepared in the event such things may happen will find us thankful if and when they do come our way.
Keeping a fresh supply of batteries for items such as flashlights, lanterns, and radios will keep us supplied temporarily with the light we need to see and with updates we need to know concerning changing weather patterns.
Since batteries do not last forever, kerosene or oil lamps are a great resource to have as a backup for flashlights. (Just be sure to have a safe reserve of oil stored properly.)
Some radios have the ability to use solar power as an alternative in addition to battery or electric power. Consider those when making your next radio purchase as radio may be rendered the only means of communication with the outside world.
Storage of fresh drinking water is important not only for cooking purposes but also to keep us from becoming dehydrated.
Canned goods that can be eaten cold can help us survive hunger if the storm is prolonged.
Extra blankets and quilts help with warmth during power outages. They can also be used to cover freezers and coolers to keep items colder for longer periods of time. (Be sure to remove them when the power returns.)
A first-aid kit may be purchased at many department stores. One could also be assembled using a tool box, a lunch box, or a sturdy plastic shoe box and items purchased from local pharmacies or department stores. Pharmacy staff are very helpful in giving direction for compiling items that would be useful in such a kit.
Your insurance company or local fire department may be willing to check for areas of weakness and give advice for strengthening your home. This should be done before any storm is expected.
Spiritual storms that come our way may also leave us vulnerable if we are not prepared.
Physical storms and storms of nature can cause our faith to be weakened. Troubles and trials, though not of our making, may attack our faith; but being prepared with the gospel of peace will give us guidance when it is needed.
Having the Word of God embedded in our hearts, maintaining a right relationship with God and others, and keeping our fellowship with Him intact will arm and shield us against oncoming spiritual danger.
Response time is critical and can avert disaster; therefore, we should especially know how to answer the trial of temptation when it comes knocking at our doors. Jesus Himself was faced with temptation, but handled it successfully with the Scriptures.
Stay in the place of safety.
Do not leave an area of safety when the storm hits.
If lightning strikes while you are outdoors, do not be the tallest object in an open area. Stay close to the ground instead.
During a tornado warning, a ditch or other low-lying area may be the safest place to occupy if a storm cellar is not available.
If flooding occurs, get to higher ground as soon as possible. Do not travel over water-covered roads or bridges. You cannot see when a roadbed has been eroded or washed away.
In windy conditions, stay away from windows that may break and send glass flying in your direction.
Speaking encouraging words to those around you will help to keep everyone calm and composed.
Encourage yourself in the storm.
It is especially important to stay in the place of safety when spiritual storms come our way.
Staying in God’s presence by prayer and reading His word will encourage us in our deepest trials.
Acknowledging the truths of God’s Word will keep us from making poor decisions that can jeopardize our safety.
The fellowship of God’s people will also give us encouragement as we navigate through the problems of life. Sharing our burdens with others will uplift us and cause others to pray on our behalf.
Remember that the trying of our faith works for us patience and brings us to greater maturity in Christ.
Encouraging ourselves in the storm gives us a hopeful outlook and confidence in God who is able to deliver us and/or carry us safely through any situation or circumstance. Our trusting attitude can strengthen and encourage those around us.
Be encouraged in the knowledge that Christ is our buckler and shield, our counselor and our friend. He will never leave or forsake those that are truly His.
Clean up from the storm.
When the storm is over, the clean-up process begins.Depending upon the severity of the storm, this can take a day, a week, or even months.
If there is major damage noted, the insurance company should be notified as soon as communication is restored. Carefully follow the insurance company’s directions and keep detailed records and receipts as clean-up is being completed. Taking photos of the damage may help you in your communications with the insurance agent.
Rubbish and other debris that litters sidewalks, yards, and roadways must be removed. Broken branches from trees may still be dangling in the air from overhead so be careful to look upward before proceeding to clean up those particular areas.
Remove debris to the proper designated areas.
Be aware of fallen power lines that may be tangled in any branches or trees that have fallen and do not go near them. Conspicuously mark off that area so that no one approaches and is endangered. Fallen power lines are a life-threatening situation that must not be ignored. Call the power company immediately and let them know of the situation.
Repair what is damaged. (Check with your insurance company first. They will probably want to do an assessment before you begin this process.)
Check outdoor lighting, gutter systems, sprinkler systems, and fencing for damage.
Look at the roof to see if any shingles have been broken, cracked, or blown away. Don’t forget to check animal kennels or animal houses for structural damage.
Inside the home, be sure to check the ceiling for wet or damp spots indicating a possible roof leak. Feel around window sills and dry any wet areas where rain may have entered.
Replace what is necessary to be replaced. (Check with your insurance company first.)
Hopefully, there will be no major damage from the storm, but sometimes items do have to be replaced. It may be an area of the roof, an electrical appliance, or a broken window. Take care of these items as soon as possible.
Roofing, structural, and electrical systems are the areas that should be considered first. Deficiencies in these systems will cause additional damage or may even cause a home to be destroyed if not taken care of properly. Hire a professional to take care of needed assessments and repairs.
Taking the proper steps will bring order out of chaos.
The disorder caused by a storm may seem unsurmountable, but taking the proper steps in the proper order will bring order out of the chaos.
Storms brought on in our spiritual life may also seem chaotic. The disruption to our lives may cause us to want to throw our hands up in despair. However, we have a Heavenly Father who is able to bring order out of our chaotic lives. We should seek Him first before we do anything else.
We may need to seek God’s forgiveness, ask for His cleansing, or just praise Him that He is in control of our situation.
Know that storms are not always brought to us because of sin. But if sin has brought our trials to us, the proper place to lay our sins is at the feet of the only One who is able to cleanse us and forgive us and restore us to full fellowship with God our father. That One is Jesus Christ.
Life happens to everyone. Just ask the Lord what His will is for you during this time of unsettledness. Follow His guidance. Be obedient and follow His direction; it may be that He is getting ready to bring a great blessing into your life.
Assess the aftermath.
After any storm it is important to assess the aftermath. Yes, the insurance company will do an assessment, but you should also do your own.
List any and all damages.
Take an adequate assessment.
What was or will be the cost to repair the damages?
What will insurance cover? What will be your responsibilities and financial expenditures?
Where are the weak places? Are walls, floors, and roofs safe?
Was the first-aid kit adequate or does it need additional items?
Is my environment healthy at the moment? What will need to be done to prevent mold?
Are the remaining trees safely standing?
Are my neighbors okay? Especially be concerned for elderly neighbors.
Retain a resource list for future help during and after a future storm. These names and phone numbers may come in handy at a later time.
Just as we do after storms of nature, we also need to do an assessment of our spiritual lives after we have battled the storms that have attacked our minds and hearts.
Are we where we need to be with God?
How can we better prepare for the next crisis?
Did we have and are we continuing to have a strong devotional time each day?
Was and is our prayer life intact?
Are we in full fellowship with our Christian brethren? Do we have areas of unforgiveness and bitterness hidden in our hearts? Does restitution need to be made to anyone?
Have we allowed things that are not pleasing to God to creep in and distract us from doing His will?
Have we truly sought God for His assessment of our lives?
Prepare for the next storm.
After recovery from the storm, we must begin preparations for future storms that may come our way.
Look at yours and your insurance company’s assessments.
Ask yourself a variety of questions as you look at each item listed. These will help with your preparations for any future storms.
Why did the damage happen? Were any areas of danger overlooked? Have structures been maintained properly?
Have trees been planted, placed, or trimmed properly? Is there anything I could have done to minimize the damage?
Then begin to shore up the property where needed.
Store up extra supplies especially in areas where particular items were needed or depleted during the last storm.
Prepare for the future day when
another storm will come.
Experiencing storms helps us to prepare for future storms. Do not take lightly the lessons that have been learned from previous storms. The safety of family members is of utmost importance. Take your assessment and prepare for that future day when another storm will come.
Recovery from spiritual storms may take moments or may take years depending upon the particular storm and our relationship with God.
Strengthen your spiritual life by attending church services, revival meetings, conferences, and Bible studies.
If you do not have a regular devotional time, begin one. Engage family members in this endeavor.
Prepare a place where you can pray without interruption. Spend some time meditating on and memorizing Scripture. Encourage your children and reward them for memorizing Scripture also.
Get professional Christian counseling if needed. Some storms require additional help. Do not be afraid or ashamed to seek this help if needed.
Job was prepared when the storm came his way. He was able to trust in God even though he had lost all physical possessions and all of his immediate family with the exception of his wife.
His thoughts may have questioned the reasons for the storm, but he did not question his salvation nor his future in heaven. He did not throw his hands up in despair, did not entertain thoughts of suicide, or retain bitterness against his friends.
However, the storm bought him closer to God than ever. He gained new knowledge of God and His attributes.
He also received blessings of restoration and encouragement from family and friends. To those around him, their perception of God was greatly changed.
Who knows how many people were and are still being changed because of the way that Job weathered the greatest storm that any man could endure.
Are you prepared for the storm? Are you prepared so that your testimony will remain in tact just as Job’s did?