Life isn’t all smooth sailing—at times it’s stormy. Some storms are anticipated, and others catch us by surprise. But even in the wildest storm, when it feels as though we’re sinking, God offers us a place of peace and rest.
Jesus and His disciples were caught in a sudden and violent storm on the lake*. It was dark. Waves where crashing into their boat, which was quickly filling with water, and the disciples were terrified. In their panic they woke Jesus who, despite the raging storm, was sleeping peacefully on a cushion in the back of the boat. He calmly rebuked the storm; the wind died down and there was complete calm.
Is it possible to experience that kind of peace in life’s ‘storms’? I think so. But preparing for them ahead of time in the ‘calm waters’ of life is essential. The following three steps have helped me to more peacefully weather storms in my life.
Step 1 – Invest Your Time Wisely
It’s essential to develop an intimate friendship with God. And relationships take time. Daily, we need to read the Bible, seek to better understand God’s promises, who we are in Him and the authority He’s given us. But since many of us live busy lives, it can be hard to be consistent in this. I’ve found getting to know others who have the same goal provides motivation, stimulation and accountability.
I’m certain I would never have survived some of the storms in my own life without having prepared in this way. I’m not always completely calm in crises, but I’m working on it. 🙂
Step 2 – Manage Your Mind
We’re bombarded daily by the media with information that may or may not be true. And much of it is negative. Without the anchor of God’s Word (Step 1), our feelings and emotions will be tossed like corks on the ocean.
We’re told that about 1500 words are passing through our minds every minute. What are we telling ourselves? Is it true? Is it uplifting? It’s all too easy to allow our imaginations to conjure up scary scenarios that lead to fear. Thoughts are powerful! They determine our reality. Be aware and take control of what you think.
Step 3 – Redirect Your Focus
We are created to worship, and we will worship something or someone. If we choose to turn our focus from the problem to God, meditate on His person and worship Him, we can find peace and even joy in troubles. Praise Him for His goodness and faithfulness. Thank Him for all He’s done for you. Shift your focus to what God is doing, rather than thinking about what the enemy might be doing.
Keep your focus on God! I think Lance Wallnau is right when he says, “Whatever can get your focus can get your heart.”
All storms can’t be avoided, but following these steps will help you learn to ‘sleep on the cushion,’ even as the storm rages around you.
Let us know what helps you to stay calm when life is turbulent. Leave your ideas below.