Have you ever had one of those experiences where you read or hear a piece of scripture and then suddenly it pops up two, three, five, or ten more times that week?
You’re like, okay Lord, I get it, you’re trying to tell me something and I need to pay attention.
I had that happen recently with the story of the wise and foolish builder that Jesus shares in the book of Matthew.
It was part of the Bible lesson I was teaching my children, then I read it in one of my books I was reading for leisure, then it popped up in one of the books I was reading for my master’s degree, then it showed up in my morning devotional on Youversion, and then it showed up in a different book I was reading for school, and then as I was chatting with my parents it came up in our conversation.
Phew . . . I think altogether I counted seven instances of it coming up in a three-day time period.
Obviously, someone was trying to tell me something. I guess I needed to pay attention.
Today, I want to share with you some encouraging thoughts for when the storms of life blow in, but they don’t blow back out—at least not as quickly as we’d like them to.
WHEN THE STORMS COME
I live in Florida and we get different types of storms. We get the afternoon sun shower, the evening thunderstorm, the Category 3 hurricanes that stall out over our area . . .
In life, we get different types of storms, too. Sometimes there are sun shower storms that go as quickly as they came and don’t do any damage.
Then there are thunderstorms that come in, blow wind, crash lightning, make your power go out temporarily, and then they move on their way.
Then, there are seasons of storms in life. Like hurricane season, where it seems you finally get past one storm and the next one is brewing and headed in your direction, there are times when instead of dealing with one and moving on, you have an entire season of storm after storm in your life and you’re left wondering when the season will end and the storms will let up.
If that’s where you are today, I’ve been there and it’s hard, I get it.
Jesus said in Matthew 7:24-25 that “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against the house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock.”
We don’t like to hear about the storms of life because we want every day to be sunny. But that wouldn’t be a realistic view of life and we end up causing ourselves an immense amount of grief when we don’t accept that there will be storms in life. When I read that verse, I see that the rain comes in torrents (sudden, violent, and copious outpouring)—YIKES.
I read that the floodwaters rise.
And that the winds beat.
So the problems are raining down on you, the floodwaters are rising up from the ground, and the wind is hitting you on all sides. That’s rough. And yet, there are people right now who are walking through exactly that. Being stormed on from every angle.
Are you in the middle of a sudden, violent, outpouring of trouble and trials in your life?
Are they beating against you today?
Hold fast to the foundation of Jesus and his teaching, my friend.
Storms in life do not mean that Jesus doesn’t love you or that he doesn’t hear your prayers. On the contrary, he said, in this world you will have trouble. We like to skip that part because it isn’t very comforting, encouraging, or positive. But it’s the truth.
If you’re going through trouble you can take heart because Jesus has overcome this world.
What does that mean? To me, it means that this storm serves a purpose. This season of trials and troubles has a purpose. That purpose may not be clear to you right now, or even tomorrow, but God never wastes a trial, a trouble, or a storm. On the contrary, he can use them to bring about his greater purpose in your life.
That might not be very comforting, especially if the stormy season in your life has been going on for weeks, months, or even years.
You’re crying out to God for change, relief, peace, rest . . . and it doesn’t seem like he’s hearing you.
I’ve been there.
I’ve walked through a stormy season in life that lasted years . . . close to a decade actually. I couldn’t recover from one storm before another one hit, or there’d be two or three raging at a time.
Storms so bad for so long that you get to the point where you start to question your faith. Have you ever been there?
I was there. Relational storms, health storms, parenting storms, family storms, career storms, loss . . . all going on simultaneously for years.
I get it, friends. I know how hard life can be, especially when it’s one storm after another after another.
The straw that finally broke the camel’s back was when my dad was diagnosed with cancer a little over a year ago. That’s what broke me. Up until that point, I stubbornly clung to my faith, my belief that life would get better, that I could handle things myself.
You see, I was the type of person who believed my worth and value were tied to my performance. My ability to hold it all together. To do it all. To spin all the plates, juggle all the things, and not drop one.
I cried out to God for his help with my own storms. But when my dad got his diagnosis, my world came crashing down.
Morning, noon, and night I cried out to God for my dad’s health. I’d been through so many storms in the recent years and was so broken that my faith in a good God was barely alive. It was hanging by a thread.
I didn’t really believe that God meant good for me or that his plans for me were full of hope and a future.
The Lord used the situation with my dad in a mighty way in my life, though.
I saw my dad’s faith grow bolder.
I saw how faithful he was to God in the midst of his life-threatening storm.
I saw how humbly he clung to God, trusted him, and used the storm in his life as an opportunity to witness to others about God’s goodness.
His faith through cancer—all the doctor’s appointments, uncertainty, tests, procedures, and surgery—it strengthened my faith. It saved me. It changed my life.
It was the catalyst that God used for healing in my life and to bring an end to a long season of storms.
It made me face the fact that I had been basing my worth and value in life on my performance. And that was sinking sand. When the storms came and the winds blew (I was so stubbornly strong that they had to blow for quite some time), my faith crashed and my life crashed with it.
But, God is so good. He used those storms, and the situation my dad went through to help me rebuild my life on a solid foundation.
To teach me that my worth and value are not tied to what I do, how perfectly I perform, what I achieve, what I get right, my successes, what people think of me, how hard I hustle, how much I accomplish in a day, week, month, or year . . .
My value and worth are found in being a child of God. In being chosen by him, called by him, and equipped by him for a purpose.
Sometimes our lives are shaken so that we can rebuild on a better foundation.
My question to you today is: What foundation have you built your life on?
You may believe like I did, that your foundation was built on Jesus. I believed. I loved the Lord with all my heart. I prayed, had daily devotional time, went to church . . . did all the things “right.”
But what I realized was that my foundation was actually built on my efforts. My attempts to prove that I was worthy of God’s love and favor. And that doesn’t work.
We’re not worthy because of what we do. No one can earn God’s love and favor.
I’m worthy. I’m valued. I’m favored. I’m loved. I’m chosen. I’m called. I have a purpose. I am equipped. I am qualified. I am enough because God loves me and chose me before the foundation of the world.
I hope that you don’t need to go through a decade of storms like I did for you to be able to see that your foundation isn’t strong.
And not all storms in life come because we have a foundation problem.
But if I could save you from prolonged storms by helping you find the crack in your foundation so that you can repair it before your life comes crashing down, you better believe I’m going to try.
I encourage you to ask the Lord honestly “Why is this storm in my life right now? Why are all these storms in my life? Why have I been going through a very long season of storms? What are you trying to show me? What are you trying to bring about or do in my life? Help me see it, Lord.”
It’s okay to ask the Lord why. People will tell you that you shouldn’t (at least that’s what I heard growing up), but David asks the Lord why in the Psalms. He also told God how he honestly felt about the storms in his life and he even vented about how long it was taking the Lord to respond. I’ve had plenty of those conversations with the Lord, and it’s important you do, too.
Tell the Lord how you feel. Lament to the Lord about how terrible things are or how bad you’re feeling. There’s no scripture in the Bible that says you can’t be honest with God about how you’re feeling about what you’re going through. In fact, the Bible is full of stories of men and women who went to God with their hurt, brokenness, and dissatisfaction with life.
I’m all for saying, “Lord, this sucks. I hate this right now. I’d like you to change this situation. Calm this storm. I need peace and rest, Lord. I need a break. I can’t take it anymore. Why are you taking so long to answer?”
God is not surprised by our questions, or thoughts, or feelings. On the contrary, he already knows what’s in our heart and we’ll feel better if we share it with him openly instead of trying to fight it and hold it in.
When you’re in a prolonged season of storms in life, much of what people say to encourage you isn’t very encouraging. I distinctly remember people trying to encourage me, but I was so broken and discouraged and my faith so thin that much of what they said I couldn’t take to heart.
So, I realize that what I’m about to say may or may not be what you’re hoping to hear—but I’m going to share it, anyway.
The Lord sees you, right where you are today. He sees your hurt, your brokenness, the barrage of storms that have been beating down on you in life. There’s not one single raindrop, wind gust, or water puddle he doesn’t know about. He’s not surprised at how hard this has been for you, or what it’s shaken in your life. He knows every single heartache, thought, and doubt. Not only does he know, but he’s not sitting on his throne judging you for where you’re weak, where you’ve fallen or failed, where your faith has weakened, shaken, or loosened. He’s not disappointed in you or in your response to the many storms that have come your way.
He’s not expecting you to hold it all together, to stay strong, to figure it all out on your own, to do everything the right way, perfectly, the first time, and to pass the test, trial, or storm scoring 100%. He knows you. He knew your weaknesses, flaws, faults, and imperfections when he created you and before the storms in your life ever started. He loves you still. He loves you immensely. And he’s looking at you with grace, with understanding, with empathy, with compassion. He sees how difficult life is for you and he’s not expecting you not to buckle under the weight and pressure of it all. It’s okay to fall apart. It’s okay to NOT be okay. It’s okay to not be all right in this season of life.
When the storms of life blow in and they don’t blow out, lean into the foundation of Jesus and his love and tell him exactly how you feel and what you need. Try not to judge yourself and remember the Lord’s great love and mercy. He’s not condemning you for your very human response to the trials and troubles of life.
We have a great high priest who can sympathize with us in our weakness. He gets it. He was human, too. He knows how hard life can be. He knows about persecution, sickness, death, relational trouble, financial trials, career storms, loss, grief, and pain. And he’s not asking you to hold it all together and act like nothing is wrong.
Are you trying to figure out how to balance the demands of raising a family and managing real-life while growing your resume or at-home business? Read my article 3 Simple Ways to Manage Life While Raising A Family and Growing Your Business where I am sharing three of the strategies that have helped me to manage the many demands of large family life and balance a growing business.
If you are looking to maximize your time and balance competing priorities, here are 4 Simple Ways to Balance Work, Kids, Homeschooling, and Life.
Also, let’s connect on LinkedIn, you can send me an invite here.
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About the author
Jessica Hernandez, President, CEO & Founder of Great Resumes Fast
Hi, I’m Jessica. I started this company back in 2008 after more than a decade directing hiring practices at Fortune 500 companies.
What started as a side hustle (before that was even a word!) helping friends of friends with their resumes has now grown into a company that serves hundreds of happy clients a year. But the personal touch? I’ve kept that.
You might have seen me featured as a resume expert in publications like Forbes, Fast Company, and Fortune. And in 2020, I was honored to be named as a LinkedIn Top Voice of the year!
I’m so glad you’re here, and I can’t wait to help you find your next perfect-fit position!
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