After you have done everything, to stand. Stand. — Ephesians 6:13,14
Storms come. It’s a fact of life. You can run from them. You can try to avoid them. You can hide. In the final analysis, you have to deal with them.
Storms aren’t problems. The first step in dealing with the storms in your life is to stop thinking of them as problems. They aren’t. Problems are things in your life that have a solution that you can find and apply to eliminate them. A blizzard came through and now my car is buried in snow. That’s a problem. Grab my snow shovel and get to work. Problem solved. My spouse died. That’s not a problem. There’s no solution to be had. It is a fact of life. I have to deal with the storm not solve it. Trying to solve storms is frustrating and ultimately an exercise in futility.
Trying to establish causal relationships about the storm is difficult at best and impossible most of the time. Why does my child have cancer? Did I do something wrong? What if I had done things differently? Don’t go down that road. That way lies madness. I believe storms have reasons. I just don’t believe we’ll ever know them most of the time. Take Job. Here’s a guy in a storm. He’s lost his wealth, his family and his health. He has nothing left but his life. Is there a reason? Certainly. Does he know or understand it? Nope. The interesting thing is that at the end of the book there is no indication that Job was ever enlightened to the reasons behind his storm. Storm may have a reason but we don’t know it. The storm just is.
Preparation won’t keep the storms away. Prayer, study, proper financial planning; none of that will make the storms pass you by. Don’t get me wrong. Those things are good and can help you weather the storm. They won’t keep the storm at bay though. Jesus had to deal with storms. All the apostles had do deal with storms. Every human being since Adam and Eve has had to face their storms. You and I aren’t any different. Storms are coming and we’re going to have to face them. Expecting our preparations to eliminate the storms from our lives is naive. It doesn’t work that way.
So what can we do? Are we victims? Helpless? Never.
We can stand. When you’ve prayed. When you’ve prepared. When you’ve done all the stuff that is within your power to do. Then you stand. You put your face into the wind, plant your feet on the rock and refuse to be moved. There’s a secret to it. Power doesn’t reside in the storm. It resides in you. The storm can howl. It can rage. It can batter you to and fro. Ultimately, though, the only one who can move you… is you. That’s the secret. Storms end. They aren’t THE end.
There’s this scene in the movie The 13th Warrior where the northmen and Ahmed are in a longboat sailing through wind, rain and sleet. Above the howling of the wind you can hear the northmen standing and laughing into the teeth of the storm. Meanwhile Ahmed huddled in misery in the bow of the ship. Thing is, I don’t think the the northmen were any less cold and miserable than Ahmed. I think they had simply learned a valuable lesson. They couldn’t avoid storms so they simply ploughed through them face first, daring it to do its worst. They had learned to endure.