Responding to Bad Weather
Categories: Perseverance, Tragedy
What is the weather forecast for today? What is the forecast for tomorrow? Depending on where you live in the world, the weather will differ daily. Sunshine might peek through the trees, or cloudy skies might burst into a downpour.
For some, the summer months have brought nothing but bad weather. Fires, floods, and tornadoes have plagued different parts of the world in recent months. Various weather conditions have combined to escalate the severity of these disastrous events. Stories of injuries and deaths -- the aftermath of these events -- often rest on the front page of newspapers, magazines, and Internet blogs. With all these disasters, it can be hard to see God's goodness or to reach for His helping hand.
But the Bible can be a great comfort in bad weather. We are reminded that we can never be separated from God -- not even by fires, floods, or tornadoes: "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?" (Rom 8:35 KJV). No! Nothing can separate us, affirms Paul.
God is always with us. God never takes a summer vacation. God never flees when there is bad weather. God's forecast is always good: "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end" (Jer 29:11 KJV). So our forecast is always good, too!
And it came to pass…
If the weather takes a turn for the worse, we can know that it must and will pass. We don't have to wait for our weather-related challenges to pass to find peace or safety. We don't have to wallow under a rain cloud of despair for days, months, or longer.
Why? Because we control our mental weather or climate.
- We can decide to be cheerful, letting our love shine on ourselves and others.
- Or we can decide to be grumpy, allowing torrential floods of anger to pour down on our friends and family.
The more beneficial choice is obvious (when we're not in a fearful situation). It's helpful to remember that all the moments of blindness, confusion, and fear -- all our mental weather disasters, too – "pass." These moments are not here to stay; they will leave. What's more, through prayer, we can see the immediate passing of these disasters.
So let's pray; let's make positive, God-inspired affirmations:
- Immediately declare your safety from floods, fires, tornadoes, and other disasters. Assert that these are not "natural" disasters; evil is never natural, for God only created good. Know that you are protected under God's wing: "I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust. Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart" (Psalms 91: 2-4 NIV).
- Rely on your spiritual preparedness -- your God-given qualities such as strength, endurance, patience, and persistence -- to help you when in times of need.
- Affirm that you are firmly grounded on God's foundation. You cannot be lifted or swept away from Love.
- Speak with authority to still whatever storm is wailing in your thought or in the world -- just as Jesus spoke: "And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm" (Mark 4:39 KJV).
- Relax in the stillness and calmness of God.
In looking at the Bible, the phrase "and it came to pass" appears 526 times in the Old Testament and 87 times in the New Testament of the King James Version. No matter what our Biblical friends faced, their troubles always passed. They showed that through prayerful reliance upon God, we all can see the immediate passing -- resolving -- of these disasters.
When we reach out for God's hand -- in daily prayer or during a disaster -- we can expect Him to meet our every need and give us a sweet sense of peace.
David shows us just how good God is at giving us a sense of peace and security. In the 23rd Psalm, God, our Shepherd, leads us to "green pastures" and "still waters."
THE LORD is my Shepherd [to feed, guide, and shield me], I shall not lack…. Yes, though I walk through the [deep, sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I will fear or dread no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort me. (Psalms 23:1, 4 Amplified Bible)
We are always protected, shepherded by God -- no matter what the weather is. So in times of tempest, we have reasons to rejoice and to sing praises to God. This hymn by Anna L. Waring offers comfort, hope, and plenty of reasons to rejoice:
In heavenly love abiding, no change my heart shall fear. / And safe is such confiding, for nothing changes here. / The storm may roar without me, my heart may low be laid, / But God is round about me, and can I be dismayed?
Wherever He may guide me, no want shall turn me back. / My Shepherd is beside me, and nothing can I lack. / His wisdom ever waking, His sight is never dim. / He knows the way He's taking, and I will walk with Him
Green pastures are before me, which yet I have not seen. / Bright skies will soon be over me, where darkest clouds have been. / My hope I cannot measure, my path to life is free. / My Savior has my treasure, and He will walk with me.