Is there a storm brewing on the horizon? Is there a storm brewing in your life? It feels that way at times. So much seems uncertain right now. When will Covid be over? Do the vaccines really work or not? What will the financial picture look like for our nation in the future? What will the financial picture look like for me and my family? What about all the other problems we are facing in our world today – terrorism, racial injustice, healthcare challenges, affordable housing, natural disasters and who knows what else? How can I keep myself and my family safe? What can I do to help keep my community and others safe? Yes, it does seem like storm clouds are brewing and our world is changing. We may not know what tomorrow will look like, but we can do some things to plan for life’s storms and we can listen for God’s direction, knowing that whether those storms come or not, God is in control and He is with us.
Storms can be powerful and exciting. I like watching a good storm, albeit I like watching from the safety of my home looking out the window. Storms can be beautiful and storms can also be devastating leaving a lot of clean-up and damage in the aftermath. Storms can also be beneficial. Rain and wind blow away the unhealthy air caused by smog, summer fires or dust and dirt. Rain waters the earth bringing nutrients to plants and trees. Something I learned just recently is that hurricane force wind and rain actually helps oxygenate the surface of the ocean which breaks up patches of bacteria and helps restore life to areas where red tied existed. So while devastating, a good storm has some beneficial aspects as well. Could it be that life storms also are beneficial? Do they blow away unhealthy attitudes, help us prioritize what is really important and breathe new life into us?
Storms will come to all of us. The question is, can we face life’s storms with confidence or are we worried and fearful? Part of the answer lies in thinking ahead and being prepared. Noah walked with God and listened. Because he was listening and walking in God’s ways, God gave him a detailed plan to save himself, his family and the animals in the storm. Can you imagine a storm of the epic proportions that Noah went through? That raging storm lasted not for one or two days, but for forty days! Yet Noah faced the storm with courage because he obeyed, prepared and built the Ark. Was it easy living on that huge boat with all the animals during the storm? Was it easy for Noah as he watched his home, the life he had known, his neighbors and friends all be destroyed? No, I don’t think it was easy. I’m sure he grieved over the losses, but Noah also trusted. He trusted His God to keep him safe. Noah’s faith remained intact even in the middle of the storm.
When a bad storm is on the way, we may not have much time to prepare. A warning may be issued telling us to watch for power outages, flooding or whatever, but are we really ready? I like to make sure I have flashlights, candles, and some easy to prepare foods on hand. I try to make sure I have wood for my wood stove and plenty of warm blankets. I’m prepared for maybe three to four days not forty or more! Yet I know that God walks with me through every storm. Yes, God can still the storms of life and sometimes He does, but when He doesn’t, He is still in control. I can trust that He will be there right beside me and that’s what I’m hanging on to.
Do you see a storm on the horizon? Has a storm warning been issued? Do what you can to prepare and trust God to see you through it. With His help, you can weather whatever storm might come your way. Make up your mind to trust Him. He will be with you even in the middle of a storm.
PARENT OR GRANDPARENT PRAYER:
Sometimes I’m prepared for a storm and sometimes storms catch me unawares. I’m not sure what tomorrow will bring, but I do know that you are aware. Whether I’m prepared or not, I look to you. I trust you whatever storm may come my way. I want to listen, obey and walk with you like Noah did. I know that you will lead and guide me and that you will always walk with me because you keep your promises. I pray that my kids, my grandkids and the kids within the realm of my ministry will trust you no matter what; no matter what storms may come their way. Keep them in your care and teach us all to look to you. When we are afraid or disheartened by the storms that threaten, teach us to pray and to trust because you are with us. Thank you God, for your amazing love for us. Amen
* Have a family plan. What will you do if you are at work and your child is at school or daycare? What will you do at home? How will you communicate with family or your child’s school?
- Have supplies ready for various weather conditions, in case of a power outage or in case you have to leave your home. Keep first aid supplies together in a kit.
Some things to have on hand are:
– Water. – Blankets/sleeping bags
– Warm clothing
– Non-perishable food items and manual can opener
– Battery operated radio
– Flashlight, and extra batteries
– Prescription medications
– Extra cash
– Basic tools
- Other helpful items might include important documents, dust masks, plastic tarp, duct tape, garbage bags, whistle, basic tools, personal hygiene items, matches, books, games or puzzles as well as a favorite stuffed animal to help your child feel comfortable, bleach, rain gear, baby supplies if you have a baby and pet supplies if you have pets.
- Make it an adventure. If the power is out, play a game by flashlight.
- What about life storms, how do we prepare for them?
– Stay connected to God.
– Pray, ask for wisdom.
– Seek wise counsel.
– Don’t isolate, stay connected with family and friends. We weather better when together.
STORY: Safe In A Storm – Genesis 8
Noah loved and obeyed God and God loved Noah. (Give self a hug.) After Noah built the ark, (Pretend you’re hammering.) God said, “Noah, it’s time for you and your family to get into the ark because soon it’s going to rain. It’s time to get the animals on board.”
When everyone was safe in the ark, God shut the door, (Clap hand.) just as the rain began to pour. (Pat knees.) Drop, drop, drop, the rain fell harder and harder and the wind began to blow! (Whooo!!) It was a very bad storm, the BIGGEST storm ever! The rain and the wind rocked the ark back and forth. (Rock back and forth.) When would the storm be over? The rain fell for a long, long time until the ark was floating high above the mountain tops, (Reach up high.) but Noah, his family and the animals were safe and dry inside.
When the rain stopped, (Clap hands once.) Noah looked outside. Water was everywhere. (Put hands by eyes as though looking.) He couldn’t get off the ark yet. Did God forget about Noah? No! God sent a wind to blow and dry up the water. (Whooo!!) Finally Noah, his family and the animals were able to get out of the ark. They knew God had kept them safe during the storm! They thanked God for keeping them safe.
God took care of Noah just like he said he would and God will take good care of you too He really loves you. I wonder if Noah and his family ever felt afraid during the storm? If they did, they didn’t stay afraid. They knew God was with them. They knew that God would keep them safe. I’m sure they talked to God too and you can talk to God everyday, just like Noah did.
Who loves you? God loves me.
What can you do? I can talk to God when I’m afraid.
MEMORIZE: Heb. 13:6 ERV – (Hold hands like holding a book.)
The Lord – (Point up.)
Is my helper – (Point to self.)
I will not – (Hands open, down, move away from each other.)
Be afraid – (Put hands by face and make scared face.)
Thank you for keeping Noah and his family safe during the storm. I know that you will be with me too. You will keep me safe even when it’s storming outside. I love you. Amen
KNOW: I can trust God when I am afraid.
TALK ABOUT: Storms – God kept Noah & his family safe.
ASK: Who loves you? God loves me.
AND DO: I can talk to God when I am afraid because He is with me.
FUN IDEAS FOR THIS WEEK:
* Float boats or anything that floats in the bathtub and talk about Noah’s Ark.
* If there is a summer thunderstorm at your house, stop and listen. Talk about how God is with us in a storm or any time. No storms? Simulate one by turning on the fan and lightly misting your kids with water from a spray bottle and make storm noises. Talk about how Noah kept God’s commands and God kept him safe.
PS Sorry this is already long – just thought of this. While I do think our world seems a little crazy right now, certainly different than the world I grew up in, I still have a lot of hope. I can choose to look at all the things we’ve lost such as being able to go somewhere without a face mask, loss of peace and security and somewhat a loss of community; which then brings fear, distrust and feelings of worry to the surface or I can choose to look up and have hope. I choose to have hope. I have hope when I see communities rallying around others who need help. I have hope when I see people with very different viewpoints working together and respecting one another regardless of their differences. I have hope when I see young people who are trying to make their world a better place and I have hope because I know that God is with me. In the middle of our storms, we have a choice, we can watch the wind and waves and allow fear to take over which immobilizes us or we can have hope, hope because our God is a God of hope. Hope energizes us in the midst of life’s storms. Look up!