A note from Kelly King: I lived in Oklahoma most of my life, and when spring and early summer arrives, you can be fairly confident that you will hear the sirens alerting to possible tornadoes in your vicinity. Being prepared for nature’s storms and having the right shelter are both important. In Debbie Stuart’s article today, I’m reminded that when spiritual storms occur, I must also be prepared and take shelter in the God who protects and provides.
It was a horrible night! The storm was unrelenting, scary, and loud. I was crouched down in the closet underneath our stairway, alone. I could hear things flying around outside and was praying they would not be flung through our big glass windows.
Finally after a few hours, the storm passed and I opened the back door to find two huge seventy-five foot trees uprooted and laying on the ground with massive holes underneath. (See photo.) I also found our rocking chair that was on the back porch now located in the front yard. Other items were down the street and some things lost completely. It DOES NOT compare to what some people have experienced with major devastation and complete loss of their homes due to tornadoes, but the scene did give me pause to consider some life and leadership lessons about storms. Let’s state the obvious then flip it to the spiritual.
- Are loud, scary, and they cause a huge amount of fear, worry, stress and anxiety.
- Are often announced, yet people remain unprepared.
- Sometimes come without warning; they are extremely unpredictable.
- Take things out of their proper place.
- Uproot trees (especially those with shallow roots) leaving gaping holes and damage to other things.
- Can cause severe damage and destruction and destroy precious possessions.
- Cause you to lose power—doing things in the dark with very little light.
- Change the landscape. Things not only look different; they ARE different!
All of the above observations about storms can be applied to our spiritual lives as well. Storms that the Lord allows in the lives of faithful and obedient people (see Acts 27 about Paul) can totally rip apart what we love the most (family, relationships, health, finances, ministry), uproot our plans, and shatter our dreams.
However, we can create our own unnecessary storms due to our disobedience and unwillingness to go where God says go and do what God says do, like Jonah. (Is the storm in your life of your own doing?)
Storms are inevitable. They will come!
As I prepare for life and leadership, I want to learn to successfully navigate my stormy seasons. Here are a few lessons I have implemented.
Prepare for storms.
Pay Attention to the storm warnings and visible signs on the horizon.
Pray through the storm. Don’t get sidetracked by the damage and devastation.
Perspective adjustment is needed. Things are never the same after a storm.
Purpose is essential. Let the Lord use storms to make you stronger, build your character, create dependence and humility, change your attitude and preferences, and reveal Himself to you in a new and deeper way. Storms can be beneficial.
Debbie serves as the Women’s Minister at Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler, Texas. She was a former Vice President of Hope for the Heart and is a certified Life and Ministry Coach through AACC. She has served in Women’s Ministry for more than 27 years and has a wealth of ministry and leadership experience. She has served as Director of Church and Leadership Development for Women of Faith, and as Director of Women’s Ministry at Prestonwood Baptist Church for 10 years and Willow Point Baptist Church for 10 years. She has been a LifeWay Women’s Trainer for 18 years.