I recently heard someone say ‘the storms of life affect us at one time or another. You might have just come out of one, you might be right in the middle of one, or you might be heading into one. You are not immune to the storms of life’. Cheerful huh? This is not the kind of thing we wanna hear. Because we would much rather take the Monty Python stance and ‘always look on the bright side of life’. Right?
But she had a point. And I don’t know how your life’s panning out, but mine has certainly hit a few crashing waves. Some storms I’ve seen coming, others not so much. Some I’ve been prepared for, and others have knocked me sideways leaving me breathless and confused.
The tempests are coming and we need to be prepared.
Now I don’t want to be all doom and gloom, but if we’re prepared, then there’s a solid chance we’re gonna make it through OK. And even more than that, that we can hold our head high in the midst of the wind and waves and speak life to our world.
I don’t know where you are and how your life is sailing right now but I do know that if you are living and breathing and alive, then you yourself have had some knocks. You may have just had one-off stormy days, or you may have been weathering weeks or months of rain, thunder, lightening. Pain, confusion, fear, questioning the world and everything in it.
What can we do? Do we just ride it out and que sara sara?
I believe there are things that are key to helping us out during some rough times and so I’ve penned some thoughts on this below. Some tips, if you like, on weathering this ol’ thing called life.
Know who’s you are
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned… For I am the Lord your God” (Isaiah 43:1 NIV)
This verse says it all really. I am His (whether you know it or not, you are too) and He is there through it all. For me, this is how I can face each day, whatever the weather.
Worship, despite the circumstances
One of the toughest experiences we’ve been through has been the devastation of losing an unborn child. We had a missed miscarriage at 12 weeks and the pain of the loss was overwhelming. It was easy to question God in that situation and to feel guilt. Why me? Did I do something wrong? But despite all the questions and hurt, I found real strength in giving Him thanks, in worshipping Him – declaring that He is good, all the time, no matter what is going on.
Good friends are precious
Never underestimate the power of a good friendship. In the past I have often kept lots of things bottled up inside. And actually I’m sometimes still a little prone to doing this. But I have found that
by sharing with a few close friends what is really going on has been instrumental in keeping going and not feeling like giving in. If you are in a tough season right now, don’t barricade your heart up: let some close friends in, share with them and let them help carry and comfort you. Don’t wait for someone to ask how you’re really doing. Reach out to them. Going through a storm alone is hard,really hard. But with others around who care about you, it makes things a little easier for sure. Especially when they give you hugs, let you cry on their shoulder and bring you chocolate. 🙂
Be kind to yourself
When the world is full of sunshine, it’s easy to take on tasks, to help others and to accept new challenges. It’s a whole different ball game trying to achieve goals when there’s dark clouds and driving rain obscuring your view. We need shelter during these times. There are days where all we need is to just stay in our pyjamas, watch movies with a hot cup of tea and a biscuit. Or three.
Look for the rainbow
There’s always an end to the storm. Maybe even with a colourful rainbow.
The Bible says “we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into
something good” Romans 8:28 MSG. That even though we might not see the good at the time, God is working through all of the things we go through. Every. Single. Detail.
One of our rainbows came in the form of a beautiful healthy baby girl and trust me, she keeps our world full of colour!
So, whatever you’re going through, know that you’re His and whatever the circumstance, He is always, always good.