When storms come, it’s essential to be anchored to something solid.
Last night, storms raged across the Midwest. We huddled under blankets, keeping our ears open for tornado sirens and our eyes on the weather apps. Our full trash can spilled across the driveway. The portable basketball hoop slid down the drive. Many others didn’t fare so well. A half million people were without power across Michigan this morning. Family members in Illinois saw their neighborhood leveled by tornadoes. (Their house is fine, many of their friends’ are not.)
This morning, I thought I’d find my three young fruit trees snapped in half or uprooted. I watered them every day throughout the summer begging them to take root and stay alive. I peeked out the window this morning and saw the slim trees standing strong. Large lawn items were strewn across the neighborhood, but my baby trees, firmly anchored into the soil, held their ground.
If you’ve ever attempted to gather lawn furniture in a storm, you know how challenging it can be to battle winds to secure your items. It’s much easier to anchor the items before the storm rolls in.
We lived in Florida during the “hurricane years.” Within our first year of Florida residency, Hurricane Charley slammed across the state. For days we watched the storm grow in the Gulf. Originally predicted to land in our city, Tampa, we boarded up windows, and moved outdoor items to safety. Panicked shoppers emptied grocery shelves. Everyone prepared. The storm changed its trajectory and landed further south and swept through unprepared midland cities.
Tampa residents stopped preparing for hurricanes. Throughout the rest of the season and in following years, people partied rather than preparing. Offices would close at the threat of storms, and rather than hunkering down at home, people gathered for hurricane parties.
Storms will surely come.
Tornadoes, hurricanes, typhoons.
Financial distress. Job loss.
None of us are immune.
Is your soul anchored to something secure? Are you preparing your heart?
You will keep in perfect peace
those whose minds are steadfast,
because they trust in you.
Isaiah 26:3 NIV
I believe the preparations you make in times of peace are proportionately connected to your level of peace during pain.
A mind anchored (steadfast), in trust in God during the ordinary will naturally be anchored in trust during the pain of life’s storms.
The winds may batter and bruise us, but they do not have to break us.
We may be shaken to our core, but we can still be secure.
The storm may threaten to destroy us, but our hope is eternal.
It is not easy.
You’ll spend days of preparing your heart by soaking in God’s Word when it would be easier to watch t.v. or surf social media.
You’ll get up and go to church to deepen your relationship with Christ and other believers when you’d rather sleep in.
You’ll pray even when you’re uncertain how to pray or what to talk to God about.
You’ll keep showing up and showing up. Watering your roots. Every day.
Then a storm will roll in out of nowhere.
You’ll be prepared. You’ll be anchored. You’ll be secure.
What preparations have helped your during life’s storms? Do you have a favorite verse you could share? A favorite song from a season of hurt?
Our love and prayers are with all those hit by tornadoes last night and those still recovering in the Philippines from last week’s typhoon. We’re thankful for the work of organizations such as World Vision and the American Red Cross. Please consider supporting one of these organizations as they provide much-needed help for storm survivors.
Linking with the Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood!
photo courtesy of sebadanon on sxc.hu