A Guide to Navigating Life Storms
August 3, 2020

I live in the Uwharrie National Forest, tucked inside the North Carolina Piedmont. Our backyard is a cascading forest that connects to a pond where birds patrol the shoreline year-round. On one occasion, I watched an osprey battle a ferocious storm. He flew across the pond and launched into the sky. He struggled to fly against the pressure. Toppling over, he released all of his tension and the wind took him away.    

We navigate life storms in a similar fashion. Caught within the gusts, they envelop us and carry us away. We struggle, pushing against the force to break free. But in the end, the storm wins. We relent and are consumed by the wind.   

I spent years separated from God. When the storms came, I gripped the empty space that enveloped me and waited for the fall. When I met Jesus, I carried years of brokenness.  As I learned about the love of God, I found hope in the book of Job.  

One day, a friend asked “Why are you reading that book? It’s so terribly depressing! Why don’t you read something like Galatians or Ephesians? Those books offer so much hope!” 

I looked at her across the couch and considered her advice. “Because God took everything from Job. Despite his loss, he still loved the Lord. To me, this is the truest testament of faith.” 

In Job, chapter 1, God takes everything thing from him. “Behold, a great wind came across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young people and they are dead, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” (Job 1:19 ESV).

The passage continues.  “Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb and naked shall I return. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:20 – 21 ESV). 

I can relate to Job. Although I’ve never felt the pain of losing a child or suffered severe bodily pain, I do understand loss and fear. After years of walking with the Lord, I’m learning that the foundational lesson in the book of Job is not faith – it’s wisdom. Through wisdom, we learn God never promised a world free from suffering. We learn how God provides love in the midst of the storm. 

The storm and I are good friends. I recognize the gust on my face. When the storm hits, I am vulnerable and one step away from destruction. I cry out for someone to save me and only God answers. 

When the storm comes, I ask myself three questions:  

  1. Where is my anchor? Your faith is the foundational element needed to navigate the storms of life. You must first know that you are forever loved by God.  God’s love must become your lifeline. It must remain your energy source – always. 
  2. What am I afraid of? When we examine our life storms, they are almost always rooted in fear. Fear of failure, fear of being hurt, abandoned or feelings of inadequacy.  To navigate life storms, we must be able to identify fear when it arrives. I cannot outrun it. I must be able to identify the effects of it, so I can understand it. I cannot allow fear to keep me grounded and immobile. Fear is a resource, not my reassurance. My reassurance rests in God alone. 
  3. How do I build adversity?  Preparation is the key to surviving a storm. The more prepared we are, the more confident we become in navigating the crisis. Are there areas of your life that you need to improve? Do you need to increase your financial, physical, emotional or relational resilience?  Build margin into your life and give yourself space to weather the storms.  

Life storms envelop us, challenge us and force us to look inside ourselves. You can’t let the storm keep you captive!  The storm will end. The seas will calm and the winds will cease.  

Navigating the storm is not only for you. It’s not only for self-preservation, but it is needed for the world. You have a gift to give. You have a story to tell.  

You must overcome the fear which holds you captive and find God’s love in the midst of the storm!

All my love,