• Jennifer Hastings

Weather the Storm

Updated: Oct 9, 2019

Storms are a natural part of life. We know they are coming. They are inevitable. The question is not if they are coming, but when will they come? How strong will they be? Some storms of life are predictable and follow the normal path and yet, there are still those unpredictable storms. The ones that creep up on us and are stronger than anyone imagined. They cause more damage than anticipated.

Some life storms are the ones we bring upon ourselves. Sometimes we act shocked that life is dealing us crappy weather, but in all reality, we are causing our own devastation. We develop habits that led to stormy weather. When I continue to indulge my sweet tooth and my pants are so tight they leave an imprint around my waist- those days are self-inflicted overcast days. When I’m impatient with my kids- the rain storm begins to flow through our house. When I take my husband for granted- the lightning flashes through the air! These storms are caused by me and my attitude. The weather will begin to clear-up again when I get my heart right and make a few apologies.

If only those were the only type of storms we face in life. However, there are also the unexpected storms that pull the rug out from under us. One minute life is going great, and the next moment your life is changed forever. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, good for you, your moment hasn’t come yet! Unfortunately, the longer you live, you are more likely to have one of these moments. Maybe you may have witnessed someone you love going through one of these catastrophic storms. Watching our loved ones go through a life-changing event is heart-wrenching. The feeling of helplessness can be overwhelming.

All this storm talk is on my mind from the devastation that Hurricane Michael brought to our beautiful gulf coast. My family looks forward to our trip to the gulf all year. Our country sat and watched with bated breath as our southern coast braced for the worst. Michael was coming!

After hurricane Michael, like the rest of country, our hearts hurt for those poor people and their loss. Some of those people had worked their whole life to retire by the sea only to have their dreams washed away with the tide. Mexico Beach, Florida took a direct hit.

After the wind had died and the waters receded, there was a lone house left standing on the shoreline. Everyone wanted to know how did this house withstand the storm when all those around succumbed to Michael? The owners of the home, Dr. Lackey and Mr. King, decided to build a house to withstand 250 mile-an-hour winds and they went above and beyond the minimum building requirements.

You could not walk the beach and see that particular house was so much sturdier than the rest of the houses lining the beach. It looked much like all of the other houses on the beach. However, when the pressure was applied and the storms came, it alone stood the test. Our lives are like the houses along Mexico Beach...sooner or later a hurricane will hit our lives. The storm will reveal our character and how deep our roots go. No one is exempt from the trials of this life. It doesn’t matter how old you are, where you are from, what your ethnicity is, what your economic status is, at some point in your life... your storm will come.

When the storm comes, how will it find you? Will the pressure make you cave in and let go of your beliefs? Will your foundation hold you up through the winds of life? Have you built supports to withstand the trials? Dr. Lackey said, “We were thinking we wanted to build a house that would withstand for generations.” This kind of design took preplanning and determination. A house to pass down from generation to generation. A house to hold years of family memories, years of sandcastle building, years of watching children feel the sand move under their feet for the first time as the waves retreat, years of enjoying dinner while reliving the highlights of the day beneath the setting sun. A lifestyle of love to pass down.

There were certain features of the house they had originally wanted, like more windows and a wrap-around patio, but that went against their hurricane proofing plan. I know for me, there are some ideas that seem good at the moment but go against the long-term plan and goals God has for my life. I have to constantly filter what God’s plan for my life is against what society says I should do. God wants us to play the long game. He wants us to consider the cost of following him and build our lives upon his truths and principles. It will not always be easy to do and may force you to swim upstream at times, but you will be built to last. We will always be tempted to take the shortcut or the easy way out, but God is interested in building a concrete character not just a pretty exterior.

I ask you, “What do you want to pass down from generation to generation?” Your temper? Your love of self? Your greed? Or do you want to leave a legacy of faith that will stand the storms of life? Mathew 7: 24-29 says, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and winds blew and beat against that house: yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” We can’t wait until a storm hits to get our lives right! It will be too late.

All you have to do is look around you and you will see people in the midst of their storms. We are quick to offer aid to the victims of hurricane Michael, but we have storm victims all around us. They are our neighbors and co-workers. Life might be raining down cancer on them, the winds might have brought divorce to their family, maybe you work with a mother praying for a wayward child...storms are all around us. The way I see it, we need to be on the lookout for storm victims. Bring them into your fold, meet their needs, offer them hope, invite them to church, be the hands and feet of God.

It is funny how we will all be the storm victim and the rescuer in different seasons of life. I’m at a place in life right now where I feel I’m both at the same time. God is putting storm victims in front of me to encourage because I’ve already weathered that particular life storm, but at the same time, there are days when he sends the right person at the right time to help me with a bite of grief because they too have weathered the loss of a parent. I am so thankful for the love and support God has shown me through the readers of this blog. I set out to share God’s love with an audience and God used you to show me an incredible amount of love and support. Weather the storm!

New York Times: Among the Ruins of Mexico Beach Stands One House, 'Built for the Big One'

You Tube Video: House Build for "The Big One" Survives Historic Hurricane

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