Pulpit Reflections: Withstanding the storms of life
I have never liked lightning and thunder. Perhaps it’s because they are unpredictable and always startle me. When I hear of people going out on their decks to watch the storms, quite frankly, I think they are a little crazy.
There is such power in the lightning. There is the ground shaking rumble of the thunder. The storms can certainly be dangerous—striking down trees, knocking out the power lines, flooding the ditches and ground.
As a child, I can remember my dad trying to comfort me during the storms. He would say the people up in heaven were just bowling again and someone must have just bowled a strike. I know it was the hug that made me feel better, but somehow the idea of the people in heaven doing something like bowling made me smile despite myself.
Just like a thunderstorm, the storms of life can come on us quickly. Without warning, we are blown about, fearing that everything in our life might change, not knowing which end is up.
There are so many ways we can be caught off guard: the loss of a job, a severe illness, a diagnosis of cancer, the death of a child, the loss of a relationship, the loss of your home and so many other things. The list goes on and on.
We can be tossed and thrown by the storms of life, feeling like we may not make it through, like we may sink into deep despair and hopelessness. But for those of us who are Christians, the Bible assures us we are never alone. In Matthew 28:20 Jesus says, “I will be with you always, even to the end of the world.”
As members of local churches we are built up and supported through coming together in worship. In the fellowship of a church family, there are other people to help carry you through and lift you up in prayer. Our church family can also help us to remember we are a beloved child of God.
Outside the front door of the parsonage where I live I have a carved stone with a message. It says, “Instead of telling God how big your storm is, tell the storm how big your God is.” Doesn’t that bring a change in perspective that we all need sometimes?
Talking about thunderstorms reminds me I really like rainbows. As the Bible says at the end of the Noah’s Ark story, the rainbow is a promise from God to never destroy the whole world again with a flood (Genesis 6-9). We must have rain to make a rainbow.
For me, the rainbow has also been a personal sign from God. I have seen them throughout my life. Whatever struggle I am going through, when God reveals a rainbow, I know it will all be okay because no matter what, God is with me.
God’s love and grace and joy are available for all of us. God will give you peace that passes all understanding to guard your heart and mind (Philippians 4:7).
Invite Jesus into your heart, find guidance in the Bible, and join a church that will help you mature as a Christian and face the storms of life.