Stuff Happens – Preparation for the Storms

Life Happens

Stuff Happens - Life's Storms - A Studio 1-37 Original Image

Have you had any “stuff” happen to you this week? This morning’s headlines, in addition to the human-caused “stuff,” informed me there is a second tropical storm that’s threatening the U.S. next week. So, there is even stuff that happens that is caused by nature. If you had to describe your life at this moment in terms of weather, how would you explain it? Are you like a Tsunami because you are getting overwhelmed with stuff? Perhaps you are more partly sunny, as more of your days are better than bad. Maybe you are in the middle of a thunderstorm and just need to shelter in place. We could go on and on with overcast, foggy, and even sunny. The point is there is always the potential storm brewing and a needed plan of preparation for when “stuff happens.”

Where I live everything is green with life and growth as we move into summer. Yet the headlines don’t read as life and growth, instead, they reek of all the bad stuff that happens. We live in a messy world because frankly, we are messy people. We create stuff that happens even when we know better and sometimes like the storms of nature, we get caught up in things that are not our responsibility like the middle of other people’s stuff. There is difficult stuff, tragic stuff, stuff that knocks us for a loop, and stuff that not only threatens to overwhelm us, but sometimes it does. All the “stuff” that happens seems to always come out of nowhere and when we least expect it. During these storms of life doubts and fear can easily overwhelm us. But that is the nature of storms, as they just happen.

Why Does Stuff Happen?

We ask why all these things happen and for that, there is only one answer. We’ve been visited by evil in our world. It is in the places we live, our nation, and the world. The storms of evil are all too evident and beyond debate. It might not be easy to name or identify it in the mess of life, but it is clear that we live in a world of sin and fear. Maybe, however, it is up to the followers of Christ to identify the evil stuff that happens whether it is familiar or not. Perhaps we should, like Christ, stand up in the face of it and tell it to be quiet and go away. Sometimes we face the stuff that happens knowing it is on the horizon but most of the time this stuff just comes from nowhere and when we least expect it.

But this week’s focus verse isn’t about storms or stuff. It is a story about Jesus and faith. We often forget this when we are distracted and afraid of the storms. Sometimes when the stuff happens, we lose our hope. And sometimes this makes our faith wane as we become disappointed in life and God. Where is the love and hope for today and tomorrow? We often can’t see it when we are in the middle of a storm. And like the disciples in the story of Jesus Calming the Storm, we panic, and we forgot. We lose what we know and what our future holds as we only see what is before us now in the storm of today.

How to Find Peace as the Boat Fills with Water

When our boats are swamped with water we tend to give up on all aspects of life, hope, and even God. Even the disciples gave up, but Christ asks them, “Have you no faith?” It is so easy to forget Him in the storm. When the stuff of life happens, we forget to hold on to Christ. We panic and let go, trying to save ourselves because we think we are all we have. Yet He stands ready to help us shelter through the storm.

But it is important to note too, that we don’t cling to God because He will still the storm. We know that doesn’t always happen no matter, how nice, devoted, faithful, or innocent a person may be, the storm can still rage. But what is different if we cling to God is that even in the middle of the happening stuff, He will stand with us in the sinking boat while the waves crash around us. He does this because He loves us and cares. And when we are in the middle of the storm that can be everything.

Then He asked them. “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

Mark 4:40 (NLT)

The disciples underestimated Christ and they lived with Him day in and out. They didn’t see how His power applied to their situation. Too often we treat the storms of life in the same way. Even though Christ has been with us for 20 centuries we underestimate His power. If we want help when the stuff of life happens then we must turn to Him fully and call upon Him. God is more than the coordinator of natural forces; He is the Lord of all creation. He is all-powerful and we must revere Him in all that we do.

Clinging Together in Praise

In life, we may face many injustices, but God is still to be praised, for He sees and remembers all the good we do, and it is up to Him to decide the timing and the appropriateness of our rewards. We do not trust in Him though for vindication but to experience His peace and be free from the worry of how others will perceive or treat us. Christ is the shelter in our storms. We must learn to call upon Him for help and then know that no matter the outcome, He is working for our good. (Romans 8:28)

The Apostle Paul would argue further that this is the only way to survive the storms or stuff that happens in life. We must boldly proclaim a relationship with Christ and claim our new family. When Christ speaks, He does so in plural seeing us together and not as an individual. We are a part of something bigger than ourselves for we are part of a family of believers. When we become a member of the faith community we have support, resources, and can stand together to face the storms and stuff that is here and that which will come.

Be Challenged to Call Upon Him

When the storms of life come upon you, remember to call upon Him, not in a complaint but for help. Let your family of faith also help and in turn offer resources to others struggling in the storms. This way we survive the storm, together. Won’t you be challenged to call upon Christ when the stuff of life happens to you? Then depend on the other members of the faith to help you with resources as you are not meant to do life alone. Allow your convictions to reside in knowing that God does everything for good. Seek your motivation as you rest in His love. And lastly rest in the comfort of knowing that no matter how severe the storms of life may come against you that you can find peace in His arms while the waves crash and the winds blow.

Love in Christ,

E. J.

Happy Father’s Day to all you fathers. And praise be to the greatest Father of all!

Postscript

There is peace even in the storm.

Vincent van Gogh

Extra Study

1 Samuel 17:(4-11,19-23,)32-49; Psalm 9:9-20; Mark 4:35-41; 2 Corinthians 6:1-13

What are Your Thoughts?

Is it easy for you to lose your way when stuff happens in life? Do you call out to Christ to calm you in the storms of life? Share your thoughts and experiences of how your faith has helped you get through the storms of life when stuff happens.

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