How to Weather Life's Storms

By Marjorie Foerster Eddington

Remember when you were little? Did you ever build a Lincoln log house or one with Legos or something of the like?

You first had to find a place to set up—stable ground, an even board, some place that the dog wouldn’t run over or where your parents wouldn’t ask you to move it. Then, you started with the base and worked from the bottom up. Maybe you built a top portion first, but you didn’t put it on until it was time. You made sure the foundation was secure. Maybe you followed the instructions. Maybe you listened to your own design. But there was still a lot of thinking and examining.

Are we still that careful about the places we choose to be, the friends we hang out with, the classes we choose to take, the decisions we make as we move through our teen years? Are we checking to make sure our foundation is secure? Why is this important? Let’s go to the Bible.

Jesus’ parable about building a house on the rock versus building a house on the sand is still important today (Matt 7:24-27). Remember that one—the house that was built on the sand washed away when the rain beat down and the floods came. Anything that takes us away from a God-inspired life means that we’re building our lives on the sand, and our lives can be washed away. Jesus didn’t say “if" the rain and storms come. He said, "The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house” (Matt 7:25 NIV).

We are going to have storms in life to weather. So we want to be equipped to survive them successfully and come out on the other side whole and wiser and stronger than before. That’s why we build our house on the rock—on a firm foundation, on a God-centered life. That means that we start our day with God, check in with God throughout the day, finish our day with God. In other words, we are always listening to God to guide us.

Why? God always has the best information, always gives us the best advice, sends us in the right direction. God is caring for us, loving us all the time. Others may try to tell us what to do, where to go, how to live. They may give us good advice, but it will still be limited, human. And then we will be relying on others rather than developing our ability to hear and follow God. It’s important to listen to others. They may have insights that we don’t have. But we always want to check in with God before we act on what they say.

It’s also important to be choosy. We don’t listen to just anybody. People may give us bad advice. They may tell us that God isn’t important, that parents really don’t know what they’re talking about, that it’s ok to cheat on tests because everyone does, that drugs or vaping or drinking or sexual immorality are exciting and really won’t hurt us, that it’s ok to game all day and spend most of our waking hours on screens of some sort.

Not everybody has our best interest in store; they have their own interest. They may try to lead us astray for different reasons. They are experts at covering their real motives, so we may not be aware that we’re being trapped. There are industries based on taking advantage of people’s weaknesses, on their inability to say no to the wrong thing (porn, for example). And this isn’t your regular type of sand; it’s quicksand.

But God always has our best interest in store. So we might as well build our lives on a firm foundation: The Ten Commandments and Jesus’ teachings from the Sermon on the Mount. People may say they’re obsolete or impossible, but they’re the only foundation that is secure and safe, a foundation that leads to real success, true joy. True, there will be trials, but we will weather them expertly with these as our guides.