Control Where You Stand

I have a complicated relationship with storms. I find them both fascinating as they captivate my curiosity, and intimidating with their unpredictable behaviors. It wasn’t too long ago that I found myself on the front porch enjoying the calmness of a late August evening while off in the distance a storm was developing.

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you...” James 4:8

Shortly after my notice of the dark sky, I heard my phone and television from inside – that recognizable sound, alerting me to seek shelter. Although I heard the warnings, I found myself enthralled with the culmination of clouds and sounds. I felt comfortable watching until the very last minute, almost tempting fate to escape, because in this situation, safety was only a steps away. I could escape to the basement where warmth and calmness await. It’s much easier to weather the storm when you know where you can find safety.

If you’ve ever been caught in a storm before, you know how scary and chaotic it can be. Winds, rain, lightning. When a storm hits, you only have one concern – finding a safe place. I think we can all agree, life storms surround us, too. They can be conflicts at home, challenges at work, physical or mental health problems, frustrations with friends or a loved one who doesn’t seem to understand your perspective. Sometimes these storms feel constant and out of our control. And sometimes they are.

Finding safety in these storms can seem impossible. Our surroundings become more and more unpredictable and before we know it – the chaos of the storm becomes our normal reality. That’s not how God intended our lives to be. He wants to see you conquer your storms. Recently a friend and I paralleled our reactions to a storm in nature, to that of a storm in life. It seems a similar approach is beneficial;

  1. Recognize the storm: Scripture tells us this life will have storms, so one of the first steps is to recognize it. These storms are chaotic and often times leave little certainty. The chaos within a storm is sometimes self-imposed, other times it’s the result of situations around us. Some storms we can anticipate – they are on the horizon. Other storms just pop up, unexpectedly. Some leave a path of destruction while others seem to come and go quickly. Regardless of the size or complexity of the storm, Jesus warns of this burden. Once we allow ourselves to recognize we can then take the next steps.
  2. Avoid the storm: When possible we need to get out of the way of a storm by taking a non-intersecting course. There are often times different routes you can take to avoid a storm. Similar to storms in nature, I know when it’s on the way. In life, the Holy Spirit in us becomes restless when we know a destructive storm is coming {you may be familiar with this unsettling feeling – it requires listening to God as He speaks through you}.The bible warns us about such storms in this life, and it also provides specific scripture to help us seek another path. Take the high road, avoid gossip, walk away from unnecessary drama, stay focused on Him… if possible, avoid it.
  3. Seek safety: And if you find yourself in a life storm, my goodness – seek shelter. Find Jesus as quickly as possible. Remove yourself from the quick moving chaos that adds confusion. You minimize the potential damage and return to a life of clarity when Jesus becomes your shelter. He’s prepared, He’s ready – that’s why He came and took on the cross. He is where you should stand during the storm. And the best part; the more often you seek Jesus, the more practiced you become and more quickly you can retreat to Him. Carve out that path to Him and memorize it… get to Him and get there fast to avoid the destruction that may await.

As we consider those steps and prepare to respond to the storm, let’s not forget that storms also produce growth. Even in nature, a heavy storm brings wind and rain. Rain brings growth and wind can clear out dead branches. In life, so it goes the same. Storms provide opportunity to choose another path, to seek safety in our Savior. This life will have storms, some manageable – some larger than we could ever have imagined. There’s no question about it, we can’t always control the storm, but we can control where we stand. Whether we avoid the storm or weather it – stand in the presence of Jesus. Seek shelter and safety in Him in the midst of every storm. He is prepared to shield us, protect us and provide the calm presence we seek.

Relevant Scripture: “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you…” James 4:8

Heavenly Father, sometimes this life feels like one storm after another. It feels like everything is spinning so quickly and safety is out of reach. Remind me that you sent Jesus for this reason – to provide shelter from the storm and to restore calmness to my life. Prepare my heart so it’s ready to stand in the presence of Jesus. Amen. 

Author: Carrie Kiekhaefer

I'm Carrie Kiekhaefer and I'm passionate about finding and reflecting JOY in this life. Unfortunately, I know a lot can get in the way of that JOY. Life is messy and complicated. I'm here as a messy child of God, a natural encourager, a blogger, a coach and a designer to help you navigate through the mess. With relevant scripture, a relationship with Jesus and some honest blogs we can find, let's discover and reflect His Joy - together.

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