Day 71 - When a Storm Catches You by Surprise!
By Paul Dysinger
I was just putting our baby son Ethan down for a nap. It was a beautiful sunny day. Some clouds had just rolled over in the cool of the evening. And then it hit. And it hit fast and hard.
Ethan had just fallen asleep when I heard my wife Natasha calling from the living room. I came out of the bedroom and looked out the window. And the first thing I noticed was the wind. It was blowing incredibly hard! And the sky was getting darker and darker.
Then we heard the tree limbs. Crash. Crack. Snap. They were literally breaking off of trees and slamming into the side of our house from the woods nearby. I looked out the other side of our cabin to see our greenhouse completely de-skinned. The entire plastic top had completely torn off. I grabbed my phone to check the weather, but the Internet was out.
"Honey, should we go?" I hear Natasha saying. "Yes - let's go," I responded.
We grabbed sleeping Ethan from off the bed and I threw my laptop into my backpack, then we darted for the car - spooked that at any moment a flying limb or falling tree could intercept our flight. We prayed as we flew along the dirt road up to my parent’s house where the basement would be a much safer place to wait out the storm. Already a tree had fallen across our driveway that we had to circumvent. Thankfully we could.
By now it was pouring rain. And so, through the blinding rain and raging wind we finally made it to the basement of my parents - and to safety. And here is the crazy thing. None of us saw it coming. No one. My uncle had been out on the tractor and had to ditch it and run inside. He also had a greenhouse that was de-skinned like ours and another one that fared a lot worse (looked like an elephant stepped on it). The storm hit us unexpectedly and we weren’t prepared.
Thankfully we are all safe and everyone is okay. But it still hit us unprepared. Kind of like how this whole COVID-19 pandemic hit our world unprepared. And here's the thing, we know there are more storms coming according to Bible prophecy. The question is, “How are we preparing to weather those storms?”
Frankly, as a gardener you realize that you aren't in control of nature. The wind, the rain, the sun, the snow—you simply can't control it. You can plan ahead and prepare for it if you have a good weather forecast. But sometimes things happen that we couldn't foresee. Then what?
I'll tell you what we do. We pray. We recognize that God is in control even when crazy things happen. And then we get up and keep going. When life comes crashing down around us, we’ve got to get up and rebuild. The storms of life may knock us down - but we've got to reach out to the strength of God and move forward.
For us, our greenhouse was a small loss. Sure, it cost us a bit of cash and some time to fix. But within a few days we had the plastic back on - and this time we hope that we are more prepared, should such a situation occur again.
But what about the storms of life? What about the physical, emotional, spiritual, and economic storms created by COVID-19? How are you responding? How will you rebuild? What lessons are you learning that will prepare you for future storms? When things happen that are outside of your control, where do you turn for strength and comfort?
Jesus is our anchor and hope. We can turn to Him our Prince of Peace Who can calm storms with a word from His lips. We can turn to Him to bring us through the storms of life and even through the end times. Will you trust in Him today?
“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.” – Isaiah 26:3-4
Paul Dysinger and his wife Natasha live in Tennessee where they run a business in gardening and teaching people how to farm. (borntogrow.net)
HEART QUESTIONS: How have you reacted to the worldwide pandemic? How has this affected or not affected your faith in Jesus? Are you willing to trust in Him for the next unexpected storm in your life? Do you believe that Jesus can truly be your Everlasting Rock?
ACTIVE HEART CHALLENGE: Ask God to show you any areas of your life where you might have not given Him full access to. Anything you might be unwilling to give up control over. Ask Him to forgive you and to help you trust in Him. Maybe this pandemic crisis has revealed to you some things in your life where you have been lacking to exercise faith. Pray to our loving Jesus to help you to surrender all to Him and to learn to trust in Him despite the storms of life.
Going Deeper: Additional reading suggestions for this week
• Help in Daily Living by Ellen G. White – Click here to read
• Revive Us Again by Mark Finley
Day 71 – Prayer Focus – Friday, June 5, 2020
- Alex G.: Two great blessings! I had started a Bible study with a physician from my town. And because of COVID-19 we could study way more often than before. She accepted to be baptized even before visiting the church! I also was very blessed personally for, even though I had to cancel all my trips for the year, I could organize myself much better, so I could pray more, read my Bible more, write more and work more efficiently. In the midst of many sorrows came great blessings too!
- Rebeca: Two weeks ago, my husband and I were in a very difficult situation. We had no phone reception and our car got stuck where there had been a mud slide and we had no way out. We prayed asking God to be our pilot. When I finished my prayer, I felt the urge to sing a hymn. My husband said that the minute I did that he felt like someone pushed us out of there. I know that was God answering our prayers. He is amazing and I love how He is always working in our lives!
- Pray for brothers and sisters struggling with unemployment at this time due to the pandemic.
- Pray for Magdalena and her husband who live in the countryside of Colombia trying to reach people for Jesus. They are in need for a chapel in order to have gatherings.
- Pray for congregations around the world that have no space or building to meet due to various circumstances.
- Pray for the One-Year-In-Mission volunteers who are helping Haitian immigrants in Chile learn the Spanish language and adjust to Chilean life and culture. Please ask God to work in and through the volunteers, and to help them build friendships and faith.