I only have one office window. Well, it's actually my boss's window inside her little office, whose door opens to our six cubicles of madness. She regularly leaves her door open so that we can have some semblance of sunshine to help brighten our dark days and nights at the psych hospital. As the sky gradually darkened, I periodically glanced through her window as I checked in patients and answered phone calls. All of a sudden, the rain had arrived. And, with a vengeance—like maybe in Noah's day. As I watched the sway of the trees and branches soar through the air, it was obvious the wind had picked up. Then the hail started. Taking steps out of the office, I could hear the clinking of hail and rain pounding on the hall sunroof. The storm's severity didn't concern me until I read my husband's text message.
"I think the A-frame broke."
"No. . . Not the squash!" I replied.
"The frame snapped."

"Go check on them!" I demanded. At this point, what good could he do in the Noah-scale weather. Obviously, he's going to get out his metal ladder as thunder and lightening crash down around the yard, with trees and limbs flying back and forth, just to put up more support for my beloved plants. Because, that's what smart people do, right? Needless to say, he didn't go outside.  

We did expect rain but not to this extent. We didn't think we would need to give our plants more support, and due to not preparing for the storm the frame snapped in half. I wish we had built it stronger with more support on each side. I wish we had watched the news or weather reports. I wish we had even thought to be more prepared for the storm. I also wish I had brought an umbrella to work that night.  

The rains come. The storms of life rage. Sometimes we expect a storm is on the horizon. We receive a hurricane warning to evacuate. The little lights on the dash board notify us to change our oil, check our engine, and—my favorite—get gas. We receive an email from administration that layoffs are coming and it could be us. We’re called by our doctor, saying they need to talk to us about our blood work. We at times have a warning that a storm is on the horizon. We may have a short period of time to get out of dodge, drive to the gas station, search for another job, and pray we don’t have X, Y, or Z, but, no matter what, we don’t know what kind of storm is brewing. How big, how long, and how torrential will this storm be? Only the Father knows.

Sometimes we live in denial of the dark clouds looming behind us. We refuse to talk about the negative and pretend it doesn’t exist. We refuse to seek the Lord (except maybe on Sundays, Easter, and Christmas). We don’t leave the evacuation zone. We don’t stop for gas. We don’t get the mole checked out. Then, when the imminent storm hits, we’re rocked harder than ever. We don’t know how to stay afloat.

Most of the time, we can't see the storm coming, and we typically have no time to prepare for the impact it'll have in our lives. It’s not as though we can get out our planner and jot down "Storm of Life July 25th at 3:00 PM - Aug. 3rd at 7:45 PM." Wouldn’t that be nice? Unfortunately, we can’t schedule our storms, but, honestly, would we ever put that in our planner? Personally, I wouldn't. Who desires a storm to impact their life? If we’re honest with ourselves, we’d openly skip that turn in the game of life. 

We don't plan for cancer, infertility, layoffs, or death. Nor do we plan for cars to break down, pipes to back up, or washing machines to break… We can't determine when fires, hurricanes, or natural disasters will happen. Even though we can’t plan for our storms, we can daily prepare for them. When the storms rage and the rain looks as though it will not cease, where do we turn our gaze? Do we look behind us at the dark clouds over head, that appear to stretch as far as the eye can see, or do we look up to the Lord—our Fortress, Refuge, and Deliverer?

In this life, storms will come and shake us to our core. Daily we need to prepare our hearts by seeking the Father—our refuge and strength—in the good times and in the bad. We praise Him in the good times and prepare for the bad. And, in midst of the bad times, we still praise Him and depend on Him for strength and deliverance. 

To each, preparation for the storm looks a little different. Just like each child has a unique relationship with their earthly father, we each have a distinct relationship with our Heavenly Father. Some may wake early, before the chaos of the day, to spend quiet time with the Father. Others, like myself, find it difficult to function before breakfast. Our differences can make it difficult to know how to prepare for storms, but there are universal and biblical concepts of preparation. 

  • Read and memorize scripture (Deut. 6:5-9)
  • Rejoice always (Phil 4:4; 1 Thess. 5:16)
  • Pray without ceasing (Phil 4:6; 1 Thess. 5:17)
  • Give Thanks (Phil 4:6; 1 Thess. 5:18)
  • Deny ourselves (Matt. 16:24)
  • Surround oureselves with godly influences (Phil. 4:8)

If we prepare ourselves daily, Paul reminds us that we will experience the God of peace (Phil. 4:9). When the storm crashes around us, we will be able to be still and know that He is God. 

Psalm 46
God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
Come, behold the works of the Lord,
how he has brought desolations on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the chariots with fire.
“Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”
The Lord of hosts is with us
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
"Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!"
The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our fortress.