Surviving The Storms Of Life

Tuesday, March 3, 2020, is a day that will be forever etched in our collective memory. Around 2:00 a.m., in the darkness of the night, mother nature unleashed her wrath as an EF-4 tornado touched down and ran for several miles along Highway 70 through Putnam County. This terrible storm left so much tragedy in its wake. It left behind broken houses, broken bones, and broken hearts as at least 18 people from Putnam County perished and scores of others were injured.

I have lived in places where tornados have occurred, as well as other tragedies where people have lost their lives. However, I was telling a friend of mine that this is different than what I have seen in other places. The tornado of March 3rd shook this community to its very center. Even if your family and home may be safe, who among us has not shed tears over our community’s losses, who among us does not know someone (or several people) who were directly affected by the storm? And we all mourn over the loss of our brother Josh, sister Erin, their sweet son Sawyer, and the many others who lost their lives.

So, affected by the tornado directly or not, we are all facing a “storm of life.” Even like physical storms, these storms come and go and vary in severity. Sometimes they focus their fury on you alone and sometimes, like this past week, they pour down on a whole community. Since storms will come, our biggest test is surviving them – spiritually making it through. There is nothing that Satan would like more than to see the storms of life turn us from God, lead us away from Him, and drown us in the sea of doubt. So, how can we survive the storm? More could be added, but consider the following two ways.

Cling To The Anchor Of Hope: The Hebrew writer said, “That by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil” (Heb. 6:18-19). Hope serves as an anchor of the soul in the storms of life, holding us fast to God. Hope is not wishful thinking – it is having expectation and desire. Notice why we can have hope. Anchoring hope is based on the fact that “it is impossible for God to lie.” God has given those who are His “exceedingly great and precious promises” (2 Pet. 1:4). God promises spiritual blessings, providence, love, care, hearing, answering, forgiveness, strength, peace, and finally heaven itself to those who love and serve Him. Even in the strongest storms, we can rest in the hope of these things – God has promised them and He cannot lie! This hope can anchor us safely through life’s storms!

Allow Jesus To Pilot Our Lives: Though talking about the tongue, James makes a good, general point: “Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires” (Jas. 3:4). Notice that the ship in the fierce winds of the storm is moved at the will of the pilot. Jesus is the “captain” of our salvation (Heb. 2:10). If we allow Him, through the guidance of His words, to pilot us through the fierce winds of life’s storms, we will safely make it through. The problem is when we try to take control. The wise man declared, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths” (Prov. 3:5-6). Allow Jesus to safely steer you through life’s storms that you might rest one sweet day in the safe harbor of heaven.