Weathering the Storms

A saying heard in every part of the country I’ve lived in is, “If you don’t like the weather now, wait ten minutes and it will change.” That’s never been truer in my life than when my family moved to Texas. Known for its sometimes-volatile weather patterns, two of the first three “big ticket” items I purchased for our Cross-Dubya ranch were an above-ground storm shelter and a whole house generator.

In the same year, I’ve seen the weather go from single-digits to triple-digits, from four-inch-thick ice covering the water troughs to the evaporative action of a hot Texas summer day. This year, I’ve watched our weather go from drought to flood stage and back to drought. Over the past month:

  • I’ve prayed for rain to help my crop of summer grasses germinate and establish itself,
  • I’ve thanked God for the rain and mentioned to Him that “He could turn off the faucet now” after receiving more than seven inches of rain in less than 72 hours, and
  • I’ve gone back to praying for rain as the ground has already begun cracking open again.

Am certain God chuckles at my fickle requests for weather. He wonders why He made every farmer and rancher to be that way. Then again, perhaps God made us this way to ensure we consistently look to Him for our needs. After all, we can be a pretty independent bunch of old so and so’s.

Following the severe storms of the past few weeks, my mind has been focused on how well we weather the storms of our lives. In this timeframe, I’ve ushered my family and pets into the storm shelter twice and relied on the backup generator for almost twenty hours. I’ve also gone from opening the valves on all the water storage units because they were overflowing or near-bursting to watering the garden. Between these weather extremes, I’ve prayed for many friends and neighbors who have suffered much greater losses than the few snapped trees and ruined garden we experienced.

We thanked God for sparing our family from the 80+ MPH winds that pulled our garden plants out of the ground and the hail and heavy rains that ruined others. Another year of garden loss is a small price to pay when I look at the blessing of healthy livestock and relatively little property damage.

The storms of life can take many different forms. Our refuge should always be the same. #StormsOfLife #JesusIsOurRefuge Click To Tweet

So how well do we handle the storms that arise in our lives? They range from a sudden downpour of an illness that disrupts plans to overwhelming waves of grief that come from a devastating divorce or loss of a loved one. Speaking only for myself here, the one thing that amazes me about storms is that even though I know they happen, I’m almost always surprised when they arrive. Pastor Paul Chappell (author of The Resilient Life) explained this phenomenon better than most and offers the reason God uses storms.

“Often we become apathetic in our lives until we face a severe storm.
Whether loss of a job, health crisis, loss of a loved one, or financial
struggle; God often brings storms into our lives to change our
perspective, to shift the focus from ourselves and our
lives to Him.”

As I grow in my Christian walk, I’m learning that how well I weather the storms that come into my life is dependent upon how well I’ve prepared for them. The strength of my faith is demonstrated in how I react when they arrive. I pray that whatever storm arises, my family sees a consistent approach from me in handling it. Am I blown about by the strong winds of turmoil or do I stand firm against them? Do they regularly see me calmly going to God in prayer about a situation or watch me fall apart when my world is shaken?

Do you have a sure anchor to hold onto when the storms come? #AnAnchoredLife #JesusIsOurAnchor Click To Tweet

They key to achieving that steadfastness in our faith is remembering upon Whom our hope is anchored. If you make Jesus Christ and His Word the anchor for your soul, you can be assured of where your refuge from any storm is found. I’ve long believed that God does not allow storms into our lives as punishment but to remind us that He is our shelter in every storm. One of my favorite quotes on the importance of trusting God in our storms came from Ms. Corrie ten Boom. She said, “In order to realize the worth of the anchor we need to feel the stress of the storm.”

Here are six Scripture verses I rely upon to remind me that God is my anchor in the storm and He is my refuge from all that seeks to harm me.

  • Psalm 27:5
    For in the time of trouble
    He shall hide me in His pavilion;
    In the secret place of His tabernacle
    He shall hide me;
    He shall set me high upon a rock.
  • Psalm34:4
    I sought the Lord, and He heard me,
    And delivered me from all my fears.
  • Psalm 91:2
    I shall say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
    My God, in Him I will trust.”
  • Isaiah 4:6
    And there will be a tabernacle for shade in the daytime from the heat, for a place of refuge, and for a shelter from storm and rain.
  • Isaiah 25:5
    You will reduce the noise of aliens,
    As heat in a dry place;
    As heat in the shadow of a cloud,
    The song of the terrible ones will be diminished.
  • Hebrews 6:19
    This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil,

What verses might you add to these that help you to weather the storms in your life?

My prayer for you this week is that you too come to make Jesus Christ an anchor for your life, so you are better prepared to weather the coming storms.

God’s blessings,

64 thoughts on “Weathering the Storms”

  1. Thank you for a timely post, J.D. The following is one of many favorites.
    “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” (Isaiah 26:3 NIV)

    1. So many encouraging posts in the Book of Isaiah Ms. Diana. Love this one too. It’s something we can tangibly hold onto. “Let us have a steadfast mind, Lord. One that is solely focused on You.”

  2. Wonderful and encouraging post, J.D. I had never read the Corrie ten Boom quote and am writing that gem down! Like you, I am discovering the way I will weather the stresses in daily life is determined by how well I prepared before the start of my day.
    Isaiah 41:10: “Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

    1. I have that one taped to one of my shelves in the den so I can look at it when I start feeling anxious about things. Finances, livestock, crops, planting, harvesting, calving, and everything in between. Lots to be anxious about and Satan does his best to make sure I am. He fails, a lot, because of the words of Isaiah 41:10. God’s blessings ma’am.

  3. Kathy Collard Miller

    Hey, JD, so pertinent as usual. I’m not a farmer or rancher but having that occupation or hobby might be the most trust-building and faith-stretching occupation because the needs and wants are uncontrollable. Makes me wonder how you all do it? Thank you for sharing to build our faith through your example.

    1. Without question Ms. Kathy, I have come to rely on my faith more here on the Cross-Dubya than I ever have before arriving here in 2013. It seems everything we do here is a step of faith. Thank you ma’am.

    1. Absolutely Ms. DiAnn. I view my faith like a muscle; and if I don’t engage it in resistance and weight training, it will not grow stronger. As you know, for muscle to grow, it must be stressed/stretched beyond its normal limits. That’s what trials in our lives is intended to do, stretch our faith so it becomes stronger.

    1. Thank you Ms. Vera. Most pleased that you enjoyed it ma’am. John 14:27 speaks powerful words of truth that we can hang onto when trouble comes our way. God’s blessings ma’am.

  4. Jesus is my anchor, my rock, my fortress in any and all storms, J. D. When we remember all that He has done, we have built a firm foundation; we can never be shaken even when the storms hit.
    Great scriptures and reminders of how much He loves each one of us.

    1. Amen Ms. Martha. When Christ is our cornerstone, and the foundation upon which we place our faith in Him, then we can be shaken, stirred, and pressed down, but that can NEVER snatch us from His mighty hand. Well said ma’am. Thank you!

    1. Indeed He does Ms. Nancy. I started to include how seafaring folks often refer to how they “ride out the storm.” The waves of trials can toss us around, but the anchor of Christ holds us steady and firm.

    1. Right there with you Ms. Ann. You make an important point about committing God’s Word to our memory. It’s when we “write His Word on our hearts” by memorizing His Word, then we have it available when the trial comes. I’ve never know Satan to pause when he attacks so we can look up the Scripture we need in the concordance. Great point my friend.

  5. Obviously, the Lord has given you an inspirational side gig. He has employed you to be a spiritual weatherman to help us prepare for the severe weather that is doubtlessly coming our way. Your review of the radical atmospheric changes you’ve been through in Texas is a great illustration of the fact that other kinds of storms are heading our way. Our spiritual “crops” are vulnerable, our connection with our spiritual “power source” can be interrupted, our personal safety and welfare can even be at risk in areas where storms of anarchy had eradicated justice and righteousness. Wow… you opened a can of fascinating worms here, Brother. It’s intriguing to think about how many ways your admonition to be prepared can be applied. It’s easy to forget how many times we’ve seen the very air we breathe and the water we depend on for life become a threat to our existence. What an encouragement it is to be reminded that God provides shelters and provision for us. Evidently He’s been a “prepper” for a long time. 🙂
    After a distracting morning and dealing with the home-going of a friend we hadn’t heard from in years, Mrs. Diane and I are sitting here on the porch enjoying your post in the midst of a beautiful lull in the activity. But I’m thinking about the frequent tornado warnings we get around here and how I need to get to work on that storm shelter we’ve been talking about. But for right now, we’re just praising God for the “shelters” you shared from the Word of God. One of my favorites in that arena is Romans 8:35 “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” God bless you, my friend. Once again God has used you to warm our hearts, stimulate our minds, and brighten our day.

    1. Thank you Mr. Ron, and my condolences on the loss of your dear friend. I pray that God was holding them firmly in His hand as they crossed that threshold into eternity. Your encouraging words always compel me to want to learn more and improve my craft as a Christian writer. Like you, my soul purpose is to bring glory to God — returning a small portion of the blessings He has shared in my life in His service. As He guides, I do my best to obey. God’s blessings sir and know that my prayers are with you and your Ms. Diane as you prepare and serve this final act of service for your friend.

  6. God has used more than one storm in my life to shift my focus back to Him. When we come to the place where He’s all we have, we find He’s all we need.

    Hard lessons but ones I’m oh so thankful for.

    Praying the rain falls soon. We’ve had good rainfall (knock wood) but are a heat wave is coming!

    1. Thank you Ms. Candyce. It seems that our weather always precedes yours by a week or so. If we get a deluge, it seems you do. So yes, prepare for a heat wave that is moving your way over the weekend. As we start to cool down (closer to normal, which is one degree cooler than Sheol, I think) you’ll begin to warm up. The good part for you, bad part for me is that it likes Texas. LOL

      With God’s help, provision, protection, and promise, we face each day. God’s blessings and prayers for safety from the coming storms my friend.

  7. The Lord most assuredly has purpose in the storms he created and allows. It’s not for us to try to understand why but to ask him to show us what we’re to learn as we hold tight and press on in the work he’s given us. The world is watching how we respond when life flips us inside out. In my case, those eyes live under my roof. Praying for rain in Cooper, Texas, sir!

    1. How true Ms. Mary. I’m learning that while I may not understand, God’s will is not dependent upon my understanding but my obedience. I love your point about how “the world is watching how we respond.” Right now, perhaps more than ever, the church must be the church. If we do, then the world will see Jesus and that has always been His goal for His children.

    1. Yes ma’am. Have been praying over you several times each day. I can’t know the exact times, but I know that grief is like the tides of the ocean. There are “High Tide” times when the waves of grief overtake us. We break down and are bent over with tear-filled eyes. It’s in those times that we need the fervent prayer of others to hold our heads above the water.

      Gratefully, there are “Low Tide” moments, filled with sweet memories of our loved one. In those moments, we can feel God’s embrace as He comforts us. In those moments however, He is also preparing you for the rising tide. The waves will come crashing around us again, but as others stated earlier, when we anchor our faith upon The Foundation of Christ, then we are assured that we will survive the storm.

      I have learned that as the grieving process goes, we’ll start to see more “low tide” periods than “high tide” ones. When you notice this, thank God for His healing balm of grace He is applying to you ma’am.

      God’s blessings sweet friend and please know that you are being lifted up on the shoulders of the great many who love and cherish their dear sister-in-Christ.

  8. “Words are God’s idea.”
    Hi J. D., I wish I could recall the name of the Pastor I quoted. All I can say is that the Holy Spirit brought that quote to mind as I was reading your post. I thought, Words are God’s idea, and He sure did bless my friend, J.D. with a bountiful of beauties woven together to create a portrait of an awesome writer. Your post is so timely! I don’t know of a Christian friend that is not going through hurricane-force winds right now, including our family. But the house on the Rock stood firm! God’s blessings on you and your family, J.D.

    1. Oh, Ms. Kathleen. How you humble me with your words ma’am. My prayer each day is that God can use my meager offering to Him in His service and in the way He wants to use it. Like you, I recognize that any gifts and talents I might have come from my Creator God. I further realize that they were meant to be used in His service in His time.
      I sometimes wonder what task He might have for me in the future. I don’t stress over it though as I remind myself often, “If God leads me to it, He’ll lead me through it.” I just have to continue trusting in Him and obeying His call. God’s blessings and thank you for all your kind, encouraging words. I pray that I will one day be worthy of your words so I might glorify our God all the more.

    1. Yes ma’am. I’ve noticed how severe weather and other natural phenomenon seem to be happening with both an increased frequency and strength. It’s like the natural world is calling out God’s message. I pray we can help others hear and heed the gospel message. “The fields are white and ripe for harvest, but the workers are few.” (author paraphrase)

    1. Such a great point Ms. Melissa. Our praise should not be reserved for those times when He rescues us from the storms of life, but also for those joy-filled, peaceful days of bliss and satisfaction. We must worship Him in all things. So well said author. Thank you!

  9. J.D., I am reading in the chronological Bible this year and Isaiah 4:6 was part of my reading today. It’s such a comforting thought to know God is our tabernacle always, not just in the storms. I pray blessings on you, your family, and the land.

  10. One of my sisters in TX lost her fence due to a recent storm and was without power for a couple of days. Even when there is no damage, storms are scary because of what *could* happen. I agree we can get complacent, and then a storm reminds us where our security and refuge is.

    Psalm 16 is one of my favorite passages, esocially verses 5-8 and 11. But in my most recent reading, the first two verses stood out to me: “Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
    I say to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.’”

    Another favorite is Isaiah 43:1b-2: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.” This says not *if,* but *when* these things happen.

    There are so many favorite verses about God’s presence and help through storms, but here’s one more: (I like the way the KJV phrases this one: “Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast” (Psalm 57:1).

    1. Glad your family is safe ma’am. So many weren’t with these recent storms. The damage was widespread and even weeks later we are still experiencing its impact. I don’t catch much television news these days, but happened to walk by when I learned that a young man from West Virginia, who was here working as a lineman to help restore power, lost his life this week to heat stroke. We’ve had heat indices over 110F for several days this week, and even hydrating isn’t enough. I came in from simply sitting on a tractor and shredding a pasture and cramped all night, after having drank water all day.

  11. Great perspective you’ve shared here this week. Storms of all sorts are inevitable, no matter where you live or who you are. I’ve certainly prayed my way through a few myself. Our “Melech haOlam”, King of the Universe, is always in control when we feel so helpless facing these circumstances. What do people do without knowing Him and His Word or without going to Him in prayer?

    1. Thank you Ms. Dottie. So true ma’am; no matter our circumstances, status, or geographic location, the storms of life are going to find us. ALL of us need an anchor my friend. God’s blessings.

  12. Yvonne Morgan

    Glad you were safe during these storms. God is good. We learn a different perspective when we understand how much we really need to depend on God. Farmers see this so well. It is only by God’s hands that we get through life. Thank you for sharing JD.

  13. These verses bring so much comfort and reassurance, J.D. Thanks for a great list. I would add Isaiah 26:3 NLT: “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!”

  14. Wonderful and encouraging message, J.D. I especially love Hebrews 6:19. There’s no other anchor like Jesus Christ, a secure hope and anchor for the storms of life. It’s now if the storms come, but when they come. This is on my blog home page: “In an uncertain world, there is an undeniable hope, an unshakable anchor for your soul.” God bless. Always enjoy your inspiring stories and analogies to the spiritual world.

    1. 🙂 I thought of your web site’s tag line as I was writing this post Ms. Karen. You and I have shared some pretty powerful storms in our lives my friend, but with God’s grace, we’ve made it through. I can’t image how either of us could’ve survived our storms without His protection and guidance.

  15. You hit the nail square on the head when you said, “I’m learning that how well I weather the storms that come into my life is dependent upon how well I’ve prepared for them.” So much wisdom in that one sentence. Thank you for the reminder of how vital our preparation is. We must not underestimate and de-prioritize the value of daily time with God, reading from His Word, and spending time in prayer and meditation. Storms of life will come, but praise God, He will allows be there with us.

  16. Thank you, JD. Praying for rain (not storms!) for the Cross Dubya. We need it here, too. The hay coming off the fields is so sad. One friend usually gets round 40 bales off a field and baled less than half that this season. As for storms of life, the more we go through, the better we can prepare when another one is coming–and face it with faith that Jesus will shelter us once again.

    1. J.D. Wininger

      How true Ms. Karen. That’s what we experienced last year here (hay wise), getting less than half of our normal harvest. And with inflation on top of that, it put our hay prices upward to $100/bale. We sure can’t have a repeat of that this year. So true ma’am, preparation is the key, and our preparedness is directly related to the quality and quantity of God’s Word we have hidden in our hearts. Satan doesn’t wait for us to look up the Scripture we need in the Concordance before he attacks, does he? God’s blessings sweet friend.

  17. I am often reminded and grateful that weather is controlled by God. And, interestingly, your thoughts about weathering the storms of life are similar to some of those tumble-weed thoughts I’ve been swirling around inside. Thank you for so gently reminding me again of Who holds the storms of life.

    1. Absolutely Ms. Sylvia. As your thoughts always resonate with me also ma’am. Praying you are feeling better ma’am. Was worried about you at BRMCWC there for the last couple of days.

  18. I had heard Texas was having severe weather, but I didn’t realize how bad. I’m so glad you have a storm shelter. I’m sad for your garden and hope some of the plants will recover. I love the message of hope and resilience you share and the reminder that God is our shelter in the storm. He doesn’t promise to prevent the storms, but He is always trustworthy to be with us through the storm. Wishing you safety, my friend, for everyone on the Cross-Dubya. I pray rain and sunshine will come as needed. Blessings, my friend.

  19. Sorry to hear you are enduring rough weather. We’ve had some crazy storms here as well. A short but wonderful verse is Psalm 119:114. “You are my refuge and my shield; your word is my source of hope.” I love that we can go to God’s Word and find help during storms.

    1. Like most states, we have a saying here, “If you don’t like the weather, wait ten minutes and it’ll change.” LOL It goes from feast to famine it seems, but remembering that God is with us through it all sure helps. Glad you guys are safe through the storms too.

  20. Good morning Mr. Jim
    Once again your writing blesses me. Thank you for sharing your heart with all of us.
    Storms sure do come out of no where – preparedness helps.
    A verse I have written in my prayer journal is Psalm 32:7 You are my hiding place; You will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance”
    Love to you Ms. Dianne and Mr. John and of course all your beloved pets and animals

    1. Love that verse also Ms. Lisa. How wonderful it is to know we have a hiding place. A place where we can be safe and share our child-like fears and sorrows. We are never judged beneath His wings. God’s blessings ma’am, and all our best to the Ballistrieri gang.

  21. J.D., I loved this insightful post, especially this point:
    “I’m learning that how well I weather the storms that come into my life is dependent upon how well I’ve prepared for them. The strength of my faith is demonstrated in how I react when they arrive. I pray that whatever storm arises, my family sees a consistent approach from me in handling it.”
    Recently, I mentioned to one of my children how sometimes when we show intense, continual frustration it may indicate our “well” is running dry. It’s important to run to the life-giving well of God’s Word for it to quench our thirst and sustain us. Better yet, is when we make it a priority to fill our buckets every morning for the day’s journey.

    1. Yes ma’am. My well’s been getting low through my life at times, but our God is faithful to refill us when we seek a right relationship with Him and ask from our sincere hearts. His Word is most definitely “the filling place” for our souls. Thank you ma’am; such wisdom you shared.

  22. I’m so used to bracing for our Texas storms, that I was recently pleasantly surprised to experience a normal rainstorm while visiting our farm in Kentucky. No thunder or lightning, no winds, just a hard steady downpour. Actually refreshing in many ways. So comforting to be kept in God’s strong arms of safety. My verses I love have already been mentioned in many replies above, but my all-time favorite is James 1:2-4: “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” Prayers for perfect weather at the Cross Dubya.

    1. Thank you Ms. Karen. We sure have had our share of storms in our part of Texas this year, haven’t we? I think about you every time I look west and see what’s coming my way my friend. I too love James’ words.

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