How and When Do You Handle Your Storms?

by | Jan 26, 2023 | Christian Living in the Trenches, Depression and Faith

Is a storm assailing you?

Figuratively speaking, a storm is anything that threatens your sense of security. It’s an alarming situation that instills uncertainty, fear and anxiety.

Are you facing any of these storms?

  • An estranged relationship with a loved one, who keeps resisting your efforts to reconcile?
  • Unemployment, and the financial pressure that’s a consequence of  it?
  • An unsettling medical diagnosis for you or a family member?
  • Subtle, low-grade symptoms of another depressive episode on its way?
  • Criticism of something you said or did that you consider unjust, or blown way out of proportion?
  • Tension with a spouse, and you wonder if he or she is falling out of love with you?

If none of those storms are on your horizon or breaking on you right now, are you facing another type of stressful situation?

The stories featuring Jesus in the Gospels illustrate timeless insights for us. One of my favorites is in Mark 4:35-41, Jesus’ stilling of a severe storm on the Sea of Galilee. Some of those disciples earned a living as fishermen on that body of water. They weren’t  strangers to sudden storms that blew in from the much larger Mediterranean Sea to the west. Yet  this storm proved worse than average. While Jesus slept and the disciples fought to stay afloat, they faced “a fierce gale of wind.” Waves were already breaking over the boat, which was rapidly filling up with water. Desperate, they awoke Jesus and bellowed, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”

With a quick word from Jesus, the wind died down and the sea calmed. Though Jesus reproved them for their fragile faith, at least they had enough faith to run to Him when their own efforts proved futile. Should they have awakened Him earlier?

In this post, I can’t take the space to identify all the insights this story offers. Just one for now: When we’re desperate and inadequate for handling a threatening situation, hurry and run to Jesus! Better late than never! 

Here’s what I wrote after meditating on this story.



Jesus, when do I come to You for help?

When I read the forecast in the Farmer’s Almanac months in advance?
When I skim the 10-day weather forecast on my cell phone’s weather app?
When I hear the local network channel’s forecast of a storm the night before?
When I spot that first gray cloud on the horizon?
When the first uncomfortable breeze smacks my cheek?

Or do I wait until a ceiling of dark clouds eclipses the sun?
Until wind-driven raindrops splatter on my windowpanes?
Until high winds shear shingles off my roof?
Until I’m standing in ankle-deep water in my den?
Until my furniture begins to float?
Until the water is deeper than I am tall?

Oh Lord, You know when….
when I’m totally spent, out of breath and I surface for the third time.
That’s when I typically come.

Jesus, running to You at the last desperate minute
is far better than not seeking Your help at all.
Even then, You’ll either still the fear-inducing storm,
or bigger miracle yet, still the turbulence inside me.

Yet prompt me to come to You earlier when a circumstance threatens,
to grab hold of You, the Lifesaver, before so much damage is done,
before fear squeezes my heart and saps me of so much joy.
Coming to You earlier won’t steer all the storms away from my house,
but then, I’d enjoy more peace in the midst of the storms.


Don’t Hesitate to Ask 

Look over your shoulder for past instances when you waited a long, long time before you gave up and approached the Lord for help. Why did you wait so long? Did you mistakenly think you were more than capable of handling the threatening situation without outside intervention? Did pride keep you from asking earlier? Did you tire of feeling helpless and needy, figuring that just this once, you’d demonstrate competence and feel better about yourself as a result?

Did you hesitate to come to the Lord with your need because you think “asking” Him for help is a lower form of prayer compared to praise or gratitude? Do you subtly think that if you were more spiritually mature, you wouldn’t be so needy and you’d ask for things less often? A remark by Richard Foster, in Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home, helps me repel such thoughts:

Some have suggested that while the less discerning will continue to appeal to God for aid, the real masters of the spiritual life go beyond petition to adoring God’s essence with no needs or requests whatever. In this view, our asking represents a more crude and naive form of prayer.

This, I submit to you, is a false spirituality. Petitionary prayer remains primary throughout our lives because we are forever dependent upon God. It is something that we never really “get beyond.”

It’s never too late to come to the Lord and plead for His enablement or intervention. But would coming earlier in the process grant the Lord an opportunity to demonstrate His might by stilling the storm inside you, before He dealt with the ominous situation you’re facing?

When you see that first dark cloud swooping your way, that’s when to seek His wisdom and strength for what lies ahead. But even if a driving rain has already drenched you and your heart lurches at every crack of thunder, He’ll still act on your behalf.

He wants you to come at any time for any reason, but especially when you’re needy.

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My load is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).






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