I was in North Carolina yesterday as hurricane Dorian began to make its way onto the coast. Like I normally do, I woke up early in the morning and went for a run. With the exception of the normal North Carolina humidity, it was great running weather – clear skies and mild temperatures. (No, this blog isn’t about physically sprinting ahead of a hurricane. I can run fast – not that fast!) I was kind of surprised by the weather because of all of the news attention that has been given to Hurricane Dorian over the last several days. I was ready for the storm by the time I went for a run in the morning.
I was in a couple of meetings in the morning when the weather began to change. I was surprised by how quickly the weather changed during one meeting. I walked in when the skies were grey, but the wind was calm, and the temperatures were normal. By the time I walked out of the meeting, about an hour later, the wind and rain began. I was starting to wrap up my meetings for the day as the weather continued to deteriorate. I was supposed to fly back to Georgia that evening. However, the weather was changing so quickly that I began to wonder if I would be able to make it out of North Carolina before the storm shut down air travel.
I spent the next couple of hours trying to “outrun the storm”. I rushed to the airport, turned in my rental car, blew through security and tried to get a standby seat on the first flight back to Georgia. Trying to outrun Hurricane Dorian reminded me about a conversation Jesus had with his disciples in Matthew 7:24-27. Here are a few thoughts about trying to outrun the storms of life:
Some storms in life are quick and severe, others seem to go on for months or years. Everyone faces storms in life. Some storms come in the way of relationship problems; others are financial disasters or health crises. Storms come in all shapes and sizes but the one thing that is true of everyone is that we all will experience storms from time to time.
When Jesus spoke these words to the crowd, some of them were probably going through difficulties. However, others were probably not experiencing any difficulties at all. Jesus left no room for discussion. He said that we will all go through the storms in life. Notice language that Jesus used in Matthew 7:25 assumes that everyone will go through storms in life. It’s insane to live your life like you won’t go through storms. In Matthew 7:26 Jesus calls the person a fool who lives their life like they’re not going to experience storms. The real challenge is not to outrun the storms but how to be ready when the storms of life come.
I don’t understand why people live like they’re never going to experience setbacks. People live like they’re never going to experience a financial problem, so they spend all of their money as soon as they get it and have nothing in savings. Others treat their body like it’s going to go on forever only to be caught off guard by a major health crisis. Some people invest no time or energy into relationships then are personally devastated when those relationships fall apart. A big part of being ready for the storms of life are preparing for those storms ahead of time. You can’t outrun these storms of life. The only way to survive them is to prepare yourself ahead of time for them.
This gets at the essence of what Jesus is saying in Matthew 7:25-26. What does it mean to build your house on the rock? It is a reference to having faith in something that is bigger than the storms of life. It is the idea of trusting in someone that is stronger than life’s greatest challenges. Obviously, Jesus is referring to himself as “the rock”, when he challenges us to build the foundation of our life on something stronger than cancer, bankruptcy or divorce. don’t be foolish, you’re not big enough or strong enough to handle all of these problems in life. You need supernatural help from the only one that is strong enough to get you through life’s greatest challenges. It is only through faith in Jesus Christ that we are able to handle the severe winds and the pounding rain of life!
No one can prevent the storms of life from blowing away deep relationships, eroding your health or causing a financial tsunami. The issue is not IF you will have the storms of life but WHEN you will have them. The question we are left with is not, “Whether or not we will face storms but how well we will weather the storms when they come.” The real issue comes down to resilience. The winds are going to blow against your life, the rains are going to beat down, how well you handle those storms will determine what your life looks like after the storm has passed.
This is the point that Jesus is making in this passage. He doesn’t leave a situation where you won’t experience storms in life. In fact, the very reason for this conversation is to prepare people to respond well when the storms of life happen. Let me ask you, how well are you prepared for your next storm? Are you ready for a hurricane to blow against your finances or your faith? Are you prepared for a title wave to hit your health or your family? The only thing that really prepares a person for the challenges of life is to build the foundation on something stronger than your own abilities. Jesus says build your life on me and you will be able to bounce back from the storms of life. In other words, put your trust in me completely and I will give you the strength to handle the storms when they come. In light of the universal nature of human suffering, faith in Jesus is the only way to ultimately persevere through the greatest storms of life.
Have you placed your faith in Jesus Christ as your Savior? Are you trusting in him right now to give you the strength to handle life’s storms? If not, I challenge you to surrender to him today. If you will turn to him in simple faith, he will respond by changing your life. If you feel the Holy Spirit drawing you into a relationship with Jesus today, you can surrender to him body and soul through this simple prayer:
Dear God, I recognize that I am a sinner. Some of the storms that I am facing in life are because of my own mistakes. I understand that my sin deserves punishment. However, I believe that you love me so much that you did not leave me in my sin. You sent your son Jesus to pay the penalty for my sin and to offer me the gift of forgiveness. Today I turn from my sin and trust only in the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior. I believe that his death paid the price for my sin and his resurrection provides me the promise of eternal life. From this moment forward I will trust you when life gets difficult. Amen.
If you just made that simple prayer from a sincere heart, I would like to know about it. Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.