Do you know how to trust God in the storms of life?
Have you ever listened to a thunderstorm? Not long ago, a severe thunderstorm hit my area. The first warning was the sky becoming dark and the clouds rolling in. Then the wind began to pick up and we heard the thunder begin to roll. We heard the thunder before the lightning began and soon raindrops began to fall.
But there were earlier warnings.
However, if I’d been looking in a more focused way, I would have seen other warnings even earlier. How most of the birds and small insects suddenly disappeared into hiding. I might have felt the temperature change as the barometric pressure dropped. I may even have noticed how the trees around me released pollen into the air before the rain hit.
But I wasn’t focused on that or any of the other warnings because I was focused on the task-at-hand.
I was distracted by day-to-day activities and the levity of just surviving – get it done now – and I had to get it done.
As wives, moms, sisters, daughters, entrepreneurs, and caregivers it can be so easy to become focused on what’s happening NOW.
That job we didn’t get.
That ache won’t go away.
That illness that was just diagnosed.
That car that just broke down.
There will always be SOMETHING.
Weathering the storms of this life can often be similar. We are focused on other things and it seems like the storm comes out of nowhere. It’s easy to feel as though you’re being pulled under. Suddenly the thunder is crashing, the rain is pouring, and the wind is blowing. It was like that when my husband was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 32. You can read more about that here.
Over time I’ve discovered 5 practices that have helped me weather the storms in life while giving praise to the one who created me and “knows my innermost being.” I recently discussed this at the Becoming The Whole Woman Online Conference. It was a gathering of women who are passionate about Christ and using the online platform for his glory. You can check that out here if you are interested. Let’s have a quick overview of these practices which I will expand on in more detail in this series of posts.
Step One: Read the Word
Yes, reading the Bible every day will increase your resilience. Spending time each day with God’s word kept me focused on His truth. It reminded me daily that He loved me, that He held me in His hand, and that he would never forsake our family. No matter how little time I actually had (honestly like 5 minutes on some days) I made sure to read scripture.
Step Two: Dig Deeper to Study the Bible
Reading a short daily devotion has merit and I do it every day. But I also have a dedicated time weekly to engage on a deeper level with God’s Word. Studying the Bible in a more focused way allowed me to see relationships between scriptures that increased my understanding of the love God has for us.
Step Three: Meet With Other Christians
If you’ve ever had coffee or tea with a friend and you shared about a situation or experience you know this is beneficial. Having the chance to meet with others who recognize that Christ’s power and grace are a constant will uplift your spirits.
Step Four: Fellowship is Huge
Oxford defines “fellowship” as a “friendly association, especially with those who share one’s interests.” Just like that girlfriend who just “gets you,” having relationships with other women who have your back will be needed. We were created by God for fellowship. He knew we would need the opportunity to share our trials with those who would lift us up.
Step Five: Communion With Our God
No, I’m not talking about taking communion at church (though this) is an important part of our faith as Christians. I am referring to our acting out of the word. To commune with someone means sharing our intimate feelings and ideas with them. That means we’re sharing the good, the bad, and even the ugly with God our Father. We’re sharing the joys, the fears, the tears, and even crying out “But God!” when the moment calls for it. There is no emotion, too deep or too dark that can’t be lifted by His light.
Clinging to these five steps allowed me to walk through the valley of my husband’s cancer diagnosis with joy. I’m not saying it was easy or that there weren’t any rough days because there definitely were. But reading the word, digging deeper into my Bible, meeting with other believers, making time for fellowship, and being intentional about my communion with God eased my spirit. It allowed me to look around in the midst of the storm and see the beauty present in it. The wind that blew away anything not tied down, the powerful sound of the thunder, and even the quenching of the land by the rain. It reminded me that every storm touches the lives of so many, seen and unseen and that God is at work through it all to accomplish His plans for the good of those that love him. (Romans 8:28)
How do you trust God through the storms? I’d love to hear your ideas so share them below.