As I write these lines a powerful hurricane is approaching the state of Florida. Irma has already devastated many Caribbean islands and now turns its attention to the southeast parts of the United States. This powerful storm can destroy many homes and kill some people and at this moment is heading in our direction.
What do you do when the storms of life come your way?
I have been watching the alarming news and we have been preparing the best way we can. We have water, food, gas, a portable stove and we have put all the plants and tools in a safe place and cleaned the gutters. These are things we can somehow control, but we cannot control the weather or the path of the hurricane. There are other preparations that will have to wait for another storm, like buying a good generator or getting hurricane proof shutters for my windows.
In a sense, we are never fully prepared for physical or spiritual storms. We can read and study the Bible every day; we can pray night and day and we can spend time with our Father in exquisite worship, as we sing his praises or meditate on his goodness. All these spiritual exercises are indeed great and vital and make us strong, in order to endure most trials and resist most temptations successfully, but when the storms do come we tend to forget all that and sometimes we fail.
The Bible says that we "are complete in Him" (Colossians 2:10), that is, in Christ. Our justification in Christ is complete and we have all the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22, 23). Moreover, the Trinity abides in us (John 14:16, 23) and we have his eternal, inerrant, infallible and inspired Word to guide us with the truth in this uncertain world.
And yet, we sometimes fail. If my preparations are not enough for Hurricane Irma, then it's my fault. I should have listened to my wife months (or was it years?) ago, when she asked me to buy a generator. I should have more water, more food, more shutters and especially more money, because we don't know how long this storm (or its ramifications) will last.
The storms of life are harder and most of them appear without warning, but we have everything we need in Christ to endure and overcome. I am not saying or even implying that we will never get hurt by these storms, but they will not defeat us as long as we walk in obedience to Christ. Paul said it best:
"We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed" (2 Corinthians 4:8, 9)