Depending on where you live, storm preparation is a seasonal event, like “spring cleaning” or the “holidays.” Some places prepare for hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, or wildfires. Preparing by definition is “to make ready beforehand.” I know both “extreme preppers” and those who aren’t even prepared for tomorrow. In our house, we are something in the middle. I have a box of shelf-stable food, jugs of water, and a wood-burning stove fireplace. The food box, depending on the time of year, is either a basement box or a blizzard box. We were not always as prepared as we are now, and we add to our preparations a little more each season.
The storms of life also require preparation. With the weather, you sometimes know what’s coming in time to do some last-minute prep work. Occasionally, weather storms come “out of the blue” or change trajectory suddenly. Life’s storms often hit us without warning. The loss of a loved one, the loss of a job, betrayal from a friend, or a terrifying diagnosis. Some have a building up like addiction or abuse. Even when we know something is coming, learning to surf the waves rather than drowning in rising tides is difficult.
We can prepare in advance for the storms. Scripture offers great encouragement and a warning. The Bible says “when” not “if” regarding the troubles of this life. The preparation for physical storms includes a safe place, emergency supplies, and important documents. The same is true for weathering the storms of life.
- We need shelter. “You are my hiding place. You protect me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance.” Psalm 32:7
- We need supplies. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Ephesians 6:12-17
- We need important documents, specifically the Word of God. “Keep my commandments and live, And my teaching as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; Write them on the tablet of your heart.” Proverbs 7:2-3
As a bonus, we need a fourth thing: A community to keep us accountable, encouraged, and to stand with us – even when we feel there is no strength left to stand. When we’ve come through the storm, we then stand as a light for others!