I shook my head with a measure of disbelief. Really?
The unbelievable story of a Corpath member’s house unexpectedly burning to the ground last year had just rocked me.
And then a few weeks ago I again listened with incredulity as another Corpath member related how his condo building had gone up in flames, and he had lost virtually everything.
I wish it wasn’t so. But life gets complicated. Stuff happens. Sometimes awful stuff. Vicious life storms blow in. What then?
Our storm-coping mechanisms run the gamut…from wanting to pull the covers over the head to nursing addictions, lashing out in anger, turtling those close to us, seeking a divorce, blaming God, even committing suicide.
Sometimes we just need to take off the rose-coloured glasses and get real. If we ever thought that life is to be lived without pain, without struggle, without inconvenience…we’ve been doing too much binge-watching on Netflix.
The truth is – storms are chasing us. And we are going to get caught.
The winds of ill health, of fiscal reversal, of reputational slagging, of job loss, of relational cleavage, of rebellious kids…they are going to blow, and they are going to blow HARD.
And here’s another hard truth, you can anticipate the storms coming with increasing frequency and ferocity as we get older. It’s just the way it is.
Here’s the question. How will we as Corpath members, who are committed to pursuing excellence in business, in life and spirit, respond to the storm when it blows in with our name tattooed on it?
And it’s coming. The storms came for Jesus, and they will come for you and me. In fact, it’s good to be reminded that Jesus, never one to mince words, said it plainly and clearly,
“In this world you will have troubles…” (John 16:33)
Storm troubles are coming. They may be on your doorstep right now. But the good news is God lovingly designed our Christian experience to be one of deep joy, immense relief, and steady perseverance, as we walk arm and arm with like-minded sojourners through the swirling storms.
Jesus gave his disciples his personal word of encouragement for storm-living.
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. … Take heart. I have overcome the world!” (John 16:33)
Jesus doesn’t want us to live stoical lives. He wants the full measure of his joy to be in us. (John 15:11) Peter said, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7) And Jesus himself said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
Jesus is Step One in weathering the storms of life. Running to him. Leaning into him. Praying to him. Receiving his promised peace and joy. Gaining strength from his indwelling Spirit to carry on, to persevere as the storm furies pummel us.
And it may sound counter-intuitive, but James encourages us to “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials.” He knew that embracing troubles and experiencing the testing of our faith is a divine moment God can use to develop spiritual maturity. “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial.” (James 1:2-12)
And then he says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask of God who gives generously to all, without finding fault.” (James 1:5) When you and I pray for guidance in the storm, it warms the heart of God. He has promised to never leave us and to guide us with his wisdom. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Finally, In Galatians 6:2 Paul reminds us to, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way fulfill the law of Christ (the royal law of love.)” That’s why our Corpath updates are so important each time our Forum meets. This is when we transparently share our storms with one another, express solidarity, give encouragement, and pray for each other. So…
We run to Jesus. We embrace the storm. We pray for guidance. We share our burdens with one another. The storms may not always pass quickly, and they may never fully abate.
But how good to know…
The Lord’s our Rock. In him we hide. A shelter in the time of storm.
Blessings this week through Christ in the moments of storm.