I sunburn easily, so a trip to the beach requires an umbrella to protect me from the sun. A few years ago, while vacationing in Florida, we rented an umbrella and two chairs from the lifeguard. During lunch, a storm blew in. As we ate our lunch on our screen porch, we observed the lifeguard closing all of the umbrellas and thought nothing of it. Then, he started packing up all of the chairs and umbrellas. Before we knew it, the protection we’d rented was gone with the lifeguard, yet the storm lasted less than an hour.
Frustrated, we confronted the lifeguard the next day. He explained that his boss checked the weather, determined it would rain all day, and told him to pack up. We felt scammed and so did several other families experiencing the same problem.
Sure enough, the next day, a storm blew in around lunch time. We stayed in our chairs and watched the lifeguard begin to pack up. He glared at us and the other two families choosing to weather the storm in order to keep their umbrellas in place. An hour later, the storm cleared and our lifeguard remained until the three families packed up their belongings for the day. Throughout the week, we continued to leave at least one of us to weather the storm in order to keep the umbrellas we paid for available once the rain cleared.
Over the years, I’ve experienced many of life’s storms, and I’ve observed others doing the same. What strikes me the most about this is each person’s approach to a storm. There are those who will weather it, face the storm head on, and emerge victorious on the other side.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
These people recognize that strength comes from perseverance, that they are not alone in their struggles. Christ gives them the ability and strength to weather their trials.
Then, I’ve witnessed an alarming number of people who stick their heads in the sand, unwilling to face the future. This never seems to work. It only opens the door to more problems, but time and again, I see them running from the storm only to be swept away.
The psalmist reminds us of a significant point that I’ve tried to live by in any circumstance:
Today is the day the Lord has made, rejoice and be glad in it! Psalm 118:24
No matter what comes, no matter what happens, we have a promise: each and every day comes from the Lord. Whatever is coming, He is in control and we must stand up and face it with Him in the lead.
What storms have you weathered? How did you survive?