Summary: This is part 1 of a 5 part series on dealing with the storms that life has for us. What basic survival skills do we need to get through this storm filled world?
Surviving the Storms of Life
Pt 1 Basic Survival Skills
Chippie the parakeet never saw it coming. One second he was peacefully perched in his cage. The next he was sucked in, washed up, and blown over. The problems began when Chippie’s owner decided to clean Chippie’s cage with a vacuum cleaner. She removed the attachment from the end of the hose and stuck it in the cage. The phone rang, and she turned to pick it up. She’d barely said "hello" when "ssssopp!" Chippie got sucked in. The bird owner gasped, put down the phone, turned off the vacuum, and opened the bag. There was Chippie -- still alive, but stunned.
Since the bird was covered with dust and soot, she grabbed him and raced to the bathroom, turned on the faucet, and held Chippie under the running water. Then, realizing that Chippie was soaked and shivering, she did what any compassionate bird owner would do . . . she reached for the hair dryer and blasted the pet with hot air. Poor Chippie never knew what hit him. A few days after the trauma, the reporter who’d initially written about the event contacted Chippie’s owner to see how the bird was recovering. "Well," she replied, "Chippie doesn’t sing much anymore -- he just sits and stares." (Borrowed from many sources to numerous to list - this might be the most used illustration on the net)
Let’s look at a group of people who had been like Chippie sucked in, washed up, and blown over and they were not singing anymore just kind of sitting and staring.
The storm was raging. The rain was pouring down. And in spite of the best efforts of the crew, the boat was being battered and beaten by the storm. And the morale of the 276 people on board was sinking with the ship. The Bible says in verse twenty that "When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved."
It’s also the situation of many of you here today and many more in the world around us. Over the next several weeks I want to share with you a series of messages called Surviving the Storms of Life. We are going to look at different kinds of storms and different strategies for surviving and even thriving amidst the crashing thunder and blowing rain.
This morning I want to look at some basic Storm Survival Skills then we will get more involved next week.
1) Avoid the storms you can - v10 I want you to realize this morning that some of the storms we get into in life can be avoided. Paul calls the centurion over who is in charge of the voyage and says "Dude, I might not be a sailor but I’ve been around the block and I’m telling you we don’t want to sail these sea’s this time of year. If we do we are going to get in trouble.¨ Well that’s my today’s English translation anyway. The information he was sharing was handed down person to person for years and generally good advice. It’s kind of like in Hughesville you don’t plant your garden until after the 15th of May. Other than good frost resistant stuff you are just asking for frost bit tomatoes. Of course others had other ideas and off they went into the dangerous Mediterranean. And lo and behold what happens? A storm comes - wow! Who could have seen that coming? Here is the idea for you. Listen to good advice. Listen to the wisdom of people who have gone before you. It’s a wonderful thing to learn from your mistakes but I find it far better to learn from other people’s mistakes.
2) Remember that God is in the Storm - (v23-25) - Man when we get into the storm it’s easy to begin to believe that we are alone. It’s easy to forget that God has a plan for our lives. It’s easy to begin to play loose and easy with the commands of God. It’s easy to isolate ourselves from God. The enemy of our souls uses this as a tactic. Things get tough and he gets you to blaming God for your circumstances, questioning if God really cares, and running from God right into snares that have trapped so many others. (relationships, alcohol, drugs, spending, isolation, depression, fear) Just at the time that we most need the Church, it’s people, it’s encouragement, and it’s instruction - the devil convinces us that no one cares and we’re in this alone. In the midst of this violent storm - and angel of God appears to Paul and tells him not to worry everything is going to be alright. God is going to pull them through. Remember Paul didn’t ask for this trip ¡V he warned against going ¡V now he is stuck with the disastrous decisions of others. God steps in and says to him - Paul - remember I am in control - I will see my plan fulfilled in your life - if you will only trust me. Remember no matter what storm you are in - God is in it with you.