Following Jesus in the Midst of Storms

Driving home last winter in the midst of a hail storm.

What do you do when a storm comes up in your life? Do you panic? Go into control mode and try to fix it? Try to make sure everyone else is safe? Give up! Or pretend it isn’t storming? After all if you ignore it, maybe it will go away. I think I’ve had all the above reactions to storms at one time or another. Usually, I immediately go into emergency preparedness mode and think, “What do I need to do? Do I need to get out flashlights, go to the store and stock up on supplies or what?” Depending on the situation and location of the storm, my response may be different. If on the road, I slow down and drive with more caution. When my kids were younger, I always tried to make sure they were safe. Did I need to pick them up from school or what arrangements did I need to make to insure their safety? All these things and more go through my brain when it’s storming outside. But what about life storms, those unexpected things that catch us unaware and unprepared. How can we handle these sudden storms?

Last winter when driving home from a family event, we got caught in a sudden hailstorm that caught us unawares. Visibility was limited and it was hailing so hard, I honestly wondered if we would have dents in our vehicle when it was over or if the van window would break. It was very slick too because we were driving on tons of little tiny round marbles or so it seemed. We definitely slowed our pace, kept our eyes on the road and tried not to get too close to the edge where we would have surely slid into the ditch. Thankfully we made it home unscathed, safe and sound. A little later the same year, we were in a very bad rain storm while driving and ended up water logged, unable to start our vehicle because of going through water that completely covered the roadway. That time the storm stopped us in our tracks. We had to call for a tow and had to make some repairs on our vehicle. Still we did make it home safe and thankful that the outcome was not worse than it was. It could have been much, much worse as we narrowly missed being pulled into a ditch. Thank you Lord, for your care over us!

Weather storms and life storms often come when we least expect them and they can catch us unprepared. The wind and waves buffet us, throw us off kilter, cause us to lose our balance and often cause great fear. All our own best efforts may not be enough to get us through the storm. When our van was water logged in the rainstorm, we tried repeatedly to get it started again so that we could ease our way out of the enormous puddle, but it simple wouldn’t start. It was too water logged. Ever feel that way? Water logged, sluggish, caught off guard by a life storm with nowhere to turn. Perhaps even your calls for help have met with seeming defeat. I know for us, we had to wait for a while for the tow to get there. Thankfully, my son came and picked me up while my husband waited as only one person was allowed to go with the tow truck. Still it was not a fun experience. Believe me, we were praying and still are because while our van is running again, we could definitely use a backup vehicle as my car died in February.

I wonder, what the disciples tried before they called to Jesus in the storm that day? Were they bailing water out of their boat and realizing they were fighting a losing batter before they called out? Did they adjust the sail hoping to get enough headway to make it to shore? I don’t think they tried for very long. The Bible says this storm was a “furious storm”. I imagine they were thinking of all the things they could to get to shore safely and not capsize their boat yet realizing this storm was way out of their league. Maybe they didn’t want to awaken Jesus. They knew He must be tired after ministering all day to the people, but I think they also wondered why Jesus wasn’t already awake and doing something about it. Finally in great fear and maybe some frustration, they called on Jesus and Jesus stilled the storm. (How like me to wait until I am fearful and frustrated to go to Jesus!) I wonder what would have happened had they rode the storm out and not woke Jesus. Awake or asleep, Jesus was with them. Awake or asleep, Jesus was still master of the storm and I think He knew what they were going through even before He woke up. The disciples didn’t know the full extent of His power yet. Their focus was on the wind and waves around them. They thought they were going to drown. Jesus first question to them was, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Jesus says the same thing to us today, “Why are you so afraid? Don’t you know I am with you? Don’t you realize that I am the master of every storm that comes your way? There is absolutely nothing I can’t handle.”

The next time a storm comes your way, how about pausing a moment, looking up and saying, “Jesus. I trust you. How do you want me to weather this storm?” Give Him your fear and frustration, then trust Him to lead you through the storm or to still the waves whichever He chooses. When we follow Jesus, he gives us courage in the midst of every storm we face. He is with you!

PARENT OR GRANDPARENT PRAYER:
Jesus,
I have been facing some storms in my life recently. I’m not exactly afraid, but I am tired of battling the storm. Have I forgotten that you are the master of every storm? I think I’m guilty of trying to figure out this storm on my own and resigning myself to battling a storm that is too big for me and seemingly endless. My energy is failing, but I know that you are with me. I need your divine energy. I need your spirit and your guidance. I need to look to you in this storm and in the decisions that lie ahead. Lord, guide me as I guide the kids in my life too. Help me speak words of wisdom,Godly words, not my own human solutions and words, but your life-giving words of encouragement in the midst of their storms. May they realize that you are the master of every storm. May they learn to pray and bring their storms and fears to you. Amen

FUN STORM FACTS TO SHARE WITH YOUR KIDS
* Approximately 16 million thunderstorms occur on earth every year.

* Did you know there are four different types of thunderstorms? Single cell, multi-cell, multi-cell lines and supercells.

* Three benefits of thunderstorms are summer water, cool the earth and clean the air.

* Did you know that lightning balances the earth’s electricity and helps fertilize the soil?

* One my favorite things about a storm is the rainbow that sometimes appears afterward. Rainbows always remind me of God’s promise to us and God always keeps His promise.



WEATHERING STORMS WELL
* Be as prepared as you can. Have flashlights and batteries ready in case of a power outage

* While storms can catch us unawares, do what you can to prepare ahead of time for a storm. Think ahead and have basic supplies or in the case of life storms, adequate savings – it’s okay to start small, just start somewhere. A good financial rule of them is give 10%, save at least 10% and then live on the rest.You can find many other “storm” tips online.

* For kids during a storm, having a favorite blanket or stuffy available to help them feel less frightened and a favorite snack is a good idea.

* Of course,God is always available. Never forget to call on Him. He will guide you through every storm life brings your way.

Kid’s Section

SHARE A STORY: Jesus Calms A Storm – MT. 8:23-27. MK. 4:35-41
One day Jesus got in a boat with His friends. – (Pretend to step into a boat.)
He was so tired He fell asleep. – (Head on hands as though sleeping.)
But His friends were not sleeping.No, not at all. – (Shake head.)
They listened to the wind wondering, – (Make wind noise.)
When the rain would start to fall?
They watched the sky, – (Look up.)
As clouds appeared,
Oh me, oh my, it was just as they feared, – (Look scared.)
A storm was a comin’,
And land was nowhere near.
The waves rose higher and higher. – (Make waves with hands.)
The rain began to pour. – (Make rain with fingers)
The wind blew harder and harder, – (“Whoo..” Make wind sound.)
And their little boat rocked more and more -.(Rock back and forth.)
The friends looked at each other. – (Look at your child.)
They didn’t know what to do. – (Throw hands out to sides.)
They were cold and frightened, -(“Brr…” Rub arms.)
And they were very wet too.
They decided to awaken Jesus. – (Say, “Jesus, Wake up!)
“Jesus, help us!” they said. – (“Help!“)
Jesus told the storm to stop. – (Put hand out in front of you for stop.)
And just like that, it did! – (Get very quiet.)
You see, Jesus can do anything.
There’s nothing He can’t do. – (Shake head back and forth.)
Jesus stopped the storm that day,
And Jesus will also help you.
Jesus loved and helped his friends during the storm and Jesus will help you everyday. Following Jesus means being brave because you know that He loves you and will help you. Jesus can do anything. He’s a very good friend.

MEMORIZE: Matthew 4:19 ERV – (Hold hands like holding a book.)
“Jesus said” – (Sign for Jesus – touch fingers to palm of one hand and then the other.)
“Come,” – (Beckon with hands.)
“Follow” – (Walk in place.)
“Me,“ – (Point upwards.)

PRAYER:
Dear God,
Thank you for Jesus. I know that Jesus loves me and helps me. I know that you will be with me even during a storm. I can be brave because you love me and are with me every day. Amen

KNOW: Jesus loves me and helps me. I can follow Him.
TALK ABOUT: Jesus is my forever friend. How can I follow Jesus?
ASK: Who loves you? Jesus loves me. Who helps you? Jesus helps me.What can you do? I can follow Jesus and be brave.

FUN IDEAS FOR THIS WEEK
*Ask Jesus to help me.

*Make a pretend storm – maybe at bath time and talk about how Jesus is with us even in storms.





Author: faithstepsandmore

I am a mom of three, grandmother of eight and have worked with young children for over thirty years. I currently write curriculum, speak for women's groups, do chapel for a daycare center and help with teacher/volunteer training at churches. I love what I do. There is nothing better than helping kids take those first steps of faith in a God who loves them more than they can imagine.

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