Summary: We all face times of turmoil in life. Here are five keys to surviving these storms.
In the early morning hours of September 29, the storm hit. Hurricane Juan made landfall in Nova Scotia as a category 2 hurricane with sustained wind speeds of 158 km/h and gusts up to 185 km/h. About three hours later, the storm hit PEI. By then it had weakened to a category 1 hurricane, and was reduced even further to a tropical storm as it crossed the Island. But still, the 95 km/h winds that hit Charlottetown and the gusts up to 139 km/h were able to uproot trees, down power lines, tear off roofs, sink boats and leave a path of destruction in its wake. I don’t think any of us will forget the images anytime soon.
Shera and I actually got off pretty easy. We had a BBQ knocked over, and we had to chase our waste bin across the yard. Plus we had to go without power for most of the day. But that’s about it. Some of you were hit a lot harder. Looking across this room, though, I’m not aware of anyone who was completely devastated by this hurricane. But some people were. People from across Nova Scotia and PEI lost their sources of income, lost their homes, lost their cars, and a couple people even lost their lives.
For many, this physical storm created a personal storm in their lives. Linda Needler is one of thousands of people who had to go without power for over a week. This is how she summed up her ordeal:
"It just wears you down. It has reached a point where it’s not fun any more. We want to get on with our lives, which we are definitely ready for, but we can’t."
~ Linda Needler, Dartmouth, entering second week without power
Yes, she is talking specifically about the effects of Hurricane Juan. But how often do each of us experience personal storms of one kind or another that leave us worn down, depressed, trapped, and frustrated? We want to get on with our lives, but we can’t. The truth is, storms happen. We all experience them. There is no one who does not go through some kind of upheaval in their lives from time to time.
It doesn’t matter if you’re old or young, educated or uneducated, rich or poor, married or single, employed or unemployed, spiritual or secular, male or female. Every butcher, baker and candlestick-maker experiences storms. Some of our own making, some that are completely out of our control.
What are some examples of things that can cause a personal storm?
(death, loss of job, health problems, stress, relational problems, etc.)
Yeah, we all experience storms. The Bible says;
Matthew 5:45 (NLT)
For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and on the unjust, too.
We all enjoy some of the blessings of God, and we all have to endure some of the storms of life. We all have our ups and downs. So this morning what I want to do is this: I want to give you 5 keys to surviving the storms that come your way.
Five Keys to Surviving the Storm:
1. Be Prepared
This is the single most important thing you can do… Be prepared. (Sounds like a promo for the Boy Scouts.) Be prepared, because the storms are going to come. And you don’t want to be caught off-guard.
[Read – The Ant and the Cricket]
The cricket knew that winter would come, but she did not take the steps necessary to be prepared. The ants, on the other hand, did take the necessary steps. Both faced the same winter, but the ants were ready for it. They had prepared in advance for it.
In the Old Testament book of Genesis, God took a young Hebrew boy named Joseph and through a series of events positioned him as the second in command in all of Egypt. You can read all about him in Genesis 37-50. One of the things that Joseph did was build silos and storage barns and granaries. And over the course of seven years, Joseph took a portion of all the crops in Egypt and filled them. Until finally, after that seven year period, another seven year period of famine struck the land. But because Joseph had taken all the steps necessary to be prepared, long before the famine hit, the people of Egypt were able to survive without starving.
Any boat-builder would tell you that the most important part of a boat is where? It’s the part below the waterline. If the proper attention is given below the waterline when the boat is being built, then even in a strong storm the boat will be able to right itself and will not be sunk. But if this area is neglected, or if the builder decides to skimp on the area below the waterline because it’s out of sight and he could save a few bucks, then even a gentle breeze could prove to be catastrophic.