This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Storm Clouds of Life

Prepare for the Storm

Storm Clouds Ahead: How to Prepare for the Storm

by Christine Drews

A few weeks ago, the weather warnings scrolled across the screen, phone alarms sounded, and family gathered at my house in case we should need the basement. Several people stood on the porch, watching the ominous clouds and yellow-green sky. Having lived through a small, passing tornado, I went to the basement and lounged on a chair, watching the meteorologist on TV. I gathered blankets and couch cushions, just in case.

When the storm turned toward us, I talked others into coming down to the basement. They stood outside on the back porch now, laughing that I was already in the bathroom, prepared with the blankets and cushions. Out on the patio, they could see the circulating clouds overhead. I snuck a peek. It was fascinating, beautiful, foreboding.

The sirens went off, and all eight of us and a big black lab crammed into the bathroom, with its shower surround and cement walls, half barricaded by the sloping yard that we hoped would protect us should the worst happen. The tornado materialized south of us, without doing any damage, and we exhaled.

Hiding from tornado

What if we would have taken a direct hit? Would the cushions, blankets, and shower surround have been enough?

The other night, something really good happened, and I said to a friend, “Let’s enjoy this 30 seconds when everything is right with the world.” We laughed, but it was true. Sure enough, in the next few days, the world caved for people around us. One lost his job. Another lost his sister. Emotions were hard.

When storms hit, will we be prepared? What in the world will prepare us for relational conflict, the C word, the awful news that crosses our screens, or the words from a loved one that scar forever? Where are the couch cushions and blankets then?

It’s worth making preparations. But how?

  1. Spend time reading God’s Word before the storm hits. That sounds so churchy, but, seriously, there are some things that even the best of people can’t help with. Having a strong support system of kind and loving friends and family is very important. It can provide some of the best medicine during times of crisis. But inevitably, people will say the wrong things or not be there when we really need wise advice or a shoulder to cry on. We’ll feel empty and alone, even though we are surrounded by people who love us. What then?

There’s something about God’s Word that builds us up for times like these. It really does provide food for the soul to carry us through lean times. When the 9-11 attack happened, I was memorizing Psalm 27. Check out verse 3:

“Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident.” (Psalm 27:3 NIV)

Amazing. I was awe-struck when God brought that verse to mind, and I was able to share it with others as we watched in horror as the towers collapsed. We forget how unnerving that day was for us, just as many of the storms are that enter our lives.

  1. Practice talking with God now. Tell him about your day. Ask him for things. Let him know how you really feel about him. Those will be some interesting conversations! If we develop a comfort level of relating to God when times are good, when the storm hits we won’t be tongue-tied or, better yet, we’ll be comfortable being silent before God. We won’t wonder who in the world we’re talking with and what in the world he can do. We’ll know with great certainty that he has the power to change our situation or change us through the situation.

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7 NIV)

  1. Listen hard to other people’s stories and notice how God works. The family member who lost his job? He got a new job four days later, closer to home with all the same benefits. My friend who went through a painful divorce? After a long and heartbreaking journey, she made it through and is now thriving. It’s worth noticing when the problem we thought would never get better gets resolved in the most unique of ways. We can call those little miracles to mind when we need hope for a miracle of our own.

“I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds.” (Psalm 77:11-12)

Those blissful 30 seconds of “everything’s right with the world” sure are great! They are also the best times to gather the cushions and blankets by tucking God’s Word in our hearts, talking with the One who has the power to calm the storm when it arrives, and noticing that God works in unique, unseen ways.

How do you prepare for life’s storms? How have you seen God’s protection in your life recently?

 

 

Storm Clouds Ahead: How to Prepare for the Storm

Enjoying this series? Check out the Trusting in God series by guest author Christine Drews and this article by Christine, Grace for the Now, about the 5 stages of change.
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