Storms are a requirement.
Yes, I said it, storms in life are required. And if you want to grow, want to become a better version of you, want to build a life worth having- you better believe you have to have storms to help you along your journey.
An important fact to remember as we go through this, I live in Florida where we have afternoon thunderstorms, large day-long thunderstorms, and the dreaded hurricanes, so I have some experience with storms of all kinds.
Let’s talk about storms in life and let me tell you why I believe and know they are a requirement of life and let me help you change the way you think about those storms- I promise when you change those thoughts about the storms you will learn to look forward to each one with joy and change your life!
When we know a hurricane or even major thunderstorm is headed our way everyone scrambles outside to tie down loose things, hide the lawn furniture, and move the stuff that is sure the blow away.
That’s the beauty of storms, the winds. When the strong winds of a storm in your life blow let them- they are working to remove the stuff that isn’t stable, that isn’t holding you up, that isn’t helping you, that isn’t giving you the foundation that you need to build your life.
Let the winds blow, let the instability blow away, and use this time to check your foundation—is it strong? How can you make it stronger?
Lucky for us Central Florida is the pollen capital of the world… and during both spring and fall we pray for rain to wash the tinge of yellow away because rain is the ONLY thing that can get all of the pollen from everywhere, not amount of washing on our parts can do what rain can do.
Think about the rain of storms in your life, what are they washing away from you? Stains of former sins, hatred, anger, distrust, feeling unloved, unworthy, or something else? No amount of work that you do can do what rain can do for you. So when it storms and rains on you let that rain wash away what needs to be cleaned, clear the air and remove what is plaguing you.
2017 brought Florida two major hurricanes, Irma and Maria. Irma made landfall at nearly a category 5 (that’s the highest category for anyone who doesn’t know), Maria brushed by us after decimating Puerto Rico at a Category 4 but we still felt her affects and feared for the worst. These storms brought us great fear and that fear fueled the packing of our valuables and most important items. If we had evacuated we could not have taken everything with us, only one truck load, so we had to choose what was our priority, what would go and what would stay. When we were packing in advance of a flood we had one large suitcase, two plastic totes, a small plastic file box, and the dog’s crate and supplies- that was it. That was our valuables.
Should the worst have happened we decided those few items were the things we could not live without.
Storms force you to decide what is most valuable to you, what you cannot live without and what can leave.
If you’re in the middle of the storm right now stop and let this storm help you decide your priorities, what can be removed from your life, and what deserves a higher place on your priority list. And when the storm ends, remember that list and stick to it.
Not every storm that we encounter is a hurricane or loud thunderstorm, some are just peaceful storms with pretty lightening and soft rain. Those type of storms bring peace, the peace of sitting on the porch watching the storm blow in, hearing the rain start to fall, and smelling the way a storm smells; that’s a peace you cannot buy. Think about the storms you’re in, what peace is available to you there? Can you sit on your mind’s front porch and find the peace? Give it a try. Rest in that peace.
Sounds weird I know, but they do. Imagine a soft storm where it’s just a soft rain falling outside your window, you will feel tired, especially if it storms in the afternoon, and you will feel your eyelids drooping and soon you’re wishing for a nap. Storms bring rest. Rest that otherwise you might not take because of the busyness of our every day lives, storms force you to stop, slow down, rest, step back.
Perhaps your storm is here to force you to rest, listen to it. Let yourself slow down, cancel appointments, avoid people for a day or two and just rest. It is ok to rest.
You’ve heard it thunder, right? Have you ever heard it so loud that it shakes your house and makes you go “Good grief!” and snaps you out of whatever you were doing? Yea, that happens in storms. And it even happens at night to wake you up.
Maybe your storm is thundering so loud to snap you out of your complacency, or your mental nonsense, or something else. Is your storm loud and maybe overwhelming? What could it be trying to wake you up from?
Growing up gardens and farms were a major thing, and I remember the prayers prayed for rain to water the seeds that were put in the ground- storms bring that rain. And then all the farmers celebrated the storms!
I’ll bet you’ve planted some seeds of your own, in business, in friends, in relationships, in so many things and you’ve been praying that God waters them— how about that storm you’re in? How’s that for water for you? You asked for it, and we all know that God doesn’t deliver answers to our requests in quite the way we’ve imagined, so why not give him a “Thank You” for the water that’s coming from storm?
Remember my story about Hurricane Irma in 2017? She really showed this characteristic in a big way, she really pushed people in Central Florida to lend a hand. Every neighbor was helping neighbors, friends, strangers. Folks were buying extra water and food to share, taking leftover plywood to another’s house, helping hang sheets and shutters all over the state, offering their homes to those who were in flood and evacuation zones. The state could not have prepared so well if it had not been for everyone pitching in and helping everyone.
Perhaps your storm is doing one of two things: 1) forcing to you reach out and help someone else or, for people like me especially 2) forcing you to accept the help given by another.
When you’re in a storm it is not easy to think about helping someone else but I’ve found more often than not when I get out of my own way and reach out to someone else who is also in a storm my own storm becomes more bearable. Give it a try.
The second one is a bit harder for me, I don’t like to accept help, but sometimes a storm comes to force it on me, to allow those who love me to take care of me, to allow those who work with me to step up and step into their roles. Things that without the storm may not happen because I am good at juggling all the balls most days and don’t really need the help. Storms can help with that.
So what is your storm forcing you to do?
Important to remember: Storms Happen.
Every afternoon in the summer we have a 3pm thunderstorm in Florida, every day, we know it’s coming. Every fall we have hurricane season, and we know that big storms are coming, size and trajectory are the variables, but we know those storms are coming.
Rain falls, thunder sounds, and lightening strikes- it’s part of the storm and you should expect all of them.
Do not be surprised when you’re in a storm- they are simply a part of life and they all have a job to do.
Don’t curse your storm.
Thank your storm for the many wonderful things that it has brought to you, for the prayers it is currently answering for you, for the things it is cleaning for you, for the way it is changing and growing you! Storms are necessary and do so much good for you!
I would love to hear what your storm has done or is doing for you?