Hurricane Earl is going make a brush past us and I’ve done a little preperation for his near arrival. I bought some water, made sure I had some flashlights and candles, and was told to fill up your bath tub with water. I am told it’s good to be properly prepared for a hurricane that way you are ready when it hits. However, if experience in other areas proves any evidence, preperation only takes you so far. When it arrives Earl will deal whatever destruction he desires. We really have no control over it.
I grew up in Indiana with tornadoes and you might get a couple hours warning before one hits, if you are lucky. In contrast, you know a hurricane is coming from two or three days away. You have plenty of time to prepare (or worry) for his arrival.
So as I wait for Hurricane Earl to pass by it got me to thinking about spirtual hurricanes in our lives. I’m talking about those times you know are coming, you’ve prepared for them, but still hurt when they arrive. I’m thinking about having a best friend with terminal cancer, and you know and they know the dreaded day is coming, but when it does it still is such a shock. Or take a divorce. You’ve been through the proceedings for a quite a while now, but when the day comes when and you are actually divorced, and the papers are signed, it can feel quite destructive (a marriage has ended). Or how about moving your family? You know the day is coming, you prepare and pack for the day, but when it comes it is so sad. Your whole life changes.
How do you handle a spiritual hurricane? Here are a few steps you can take.
- Pray. In prayer you will come in contact with someone that is much bigger than your problem. God can handle it. We need to give it up to Him first.
- Prepare. Prepare by filling yourself up by reading Psalms. It’s word will sustain when the day comes. David wrote in Psalms, “I am completely discouraged… Revive me by your word. Your word has been my comfort.” Psalms was written to comfort you. When you read them ahead of time God can bring those promises and words to your mind when the hurricane hits.
- Persist. When the moment actually arrives and the hurt is there you must realize that there will be sunshine again. Where do you find the strength to persist? The Holy Spirit. Jesus said that he has given all His followers a gift, and that is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy… that by the power of the Holy Spirit, your whole life and outlook may be radiant with hope.”
- People. God gave us each other to help each other. He gave us a church family to shoulder each others burdens. When the early Christians were going through their hurricane of persecution (Acts 4) they met together to pray and to encourage one another to stay strong in the faith. We can do the same.
- Praise God. After the event has passed take some time to reflect on how God was with you through the winds of doubt and the downpours of hurt. Thank him, praise him, and honor him for all that he has done during this time.
No one likes a hurricane, a physical one (well, maybe a few of you do out there) or a spiritual one. Jesus said in this life you will have trouble. Thankfully, God has offered you His word as a guide through these storms of life.