Summary: We will encounter storms in our lives, and we can allow these storms to make us bitter, or help us to be better Christians. It is how we react to the trials in our lives, not the storms, itself that is most important.
Mark 4:35-41. “Storms Don’t Last Always.”
Dr. Marie Mason
Illustration: A young woman, whom I will call Patty, told me a little about her life, and listening to her, I had a combination of emotions. As a parent, (1) hurt, because, as a child, she went through so much, (2) exhilarated, because she didn’t allow her storms to keep her down, (3) excited and inspired, because she used her storms as stepping stones to get to where she is today.
Patty, is one of three children, all older than she is. Her mother, a single mother, was an alcoholic and seldom worked. They ate wherever and whenever they could find food. Patty says, after her siblings left home, she and her mother lived from place to place, and often on park benches or, if they were lucky, in homeless shelters. She dropped out of school at the age of 15, and when she was barely 16, her mother told her she had to leave, that she didn’t want her anymore. Homeless, alone, hurt, devastated, Patty lived on the streets, protecting herself the best way she could. A middleaged woman came to the park everyday, bringing sandwiches, chips and water. At first, she didn’t seem to notice Patty, probably because she was one among so many needing food and water. But one day, the woman asked Patty if she would like to come home with her. She lived on a huge farm, and the excuse she used to get Patty to come, was that she needed help cleaning her house, grooming the horses, and feeding the other animals. At first, Patty was suspicious and turned her down. She had been through so much on the streets, and she had built a shield around herself for protection. We work with the homeless, and I’ve heard stories of the dangers, the homeless face, often ending in death. We can understand Patty’s hesitation and concern.
Finally, she figured she had nothing to lose, so she went home with the lady. From that day on, her life changed. It didn’t happen overnight, of course, it took time. The woman enrolled Patty in high school and she took her to church. Patty graduated high school with honors,even went to college and graduated there with honors, also.
Patty was saved, she received Jesus Christ as her personal Savior, was baptized in Jesus’ name, and filled with the Holy Ghost!
She’s a prominent figure in the community now, at the age of 34. She wrote a book called, “Storms Don’t Last Always”, a story about her life. She used her suffering as stepping stones, and did not allow the hurt to make her bitter.
Text: As we look at our text today, we will learn that storms are temporary, and we can use the storms in our life to make us better, as testimonies to help others who may be going thru a storm. Let’s look at two types of storms today. There are others, but we will focus on only two.
(1) Natural Storms: I’ve been thru many natural storms. I’ve even been in my automobile and sometimes I’ve walked in the middle of an horrendous storm. I’ve heard rain pelting on the roof, hail, the size of golf balls pounding against the window panes, lightning opening up the sky, winds so strong that I was afraid that the trees would be uprooted, and the roof would come down, but no matter how tremendous the storms, they did not last always. There’s always an ending. When the storms end, the air is cleaner than ever, and it looked like the sun was never so brilliant. Listen: It seemed like the storms purified and cleansed the air. They don’t last always.
Physical Storms: Then we have physical storms. Storms of sickness, storms of joblessness, storms of financial bind, and storms of losing loved ones. Mighty storms. Tremendous storms. Storms that will knock you to your knees. Listen: When you are in the midst of one of these storms, it seems as if the bottom is going to fall out, it’s relentless, and that the storm will never end. Have you ever felt like you’re in one of these storms by yourself? You felt all alone…and Listen: Like nobody is there for you? When you are going thru one of these storms, I want you to remember that: “…Jesus will never leave you, nor forsake you.” Jesus will be with you in and throughout your storms! Go ahead and cry. It’s alright to weep and moan. But when it comes morning, get up, wash your face, brush your teeth, comb your hair. Remember: “…weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” When the storms are over, the songwriter says, “When the storms of life are raging, stand by me!” When you’re going thru your storms, tell Jesus to stand by you!