Sunday, August 28, 2011

Having a Role in the Storms....

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 Life is not easy...that is definitely not a statement that most of us could not relate to at some time or other.  I've definitely gone through many storms in my life - and thankfully I've always come through and found the sunshine on the other side.  There have been times that after the storm was over I found my life to have gone through many changes, and maybe some of those changes were not what I wanted at all.  But as I've put my trust in God to take care of me, I've always found that the changes turned out for the best in the end.  

There are storms that we find ourselves in the middle of in our lives that are actually of our own making.  We made the choices (or mistakes) that led us into the path of that storm.  Of course our intentions were not to end up in a bad place, but we actually could have listened to better advice or paid a bit closer attention to how smart the choices we were making actually were and could have avoided the storm altogether.  The storm we suffer through turns out to actually be the consequences of our own bad decisions and choices.  So what do you do at the time when you feel stuck in a raging storm and you know that you made bad choices to get you here?  Obviously we can never back up time and undo what's already been done.  But we CAN learn, change and grow.  When I've found myself in these storms (and sometimes it may not be something you have done directly, but bad choices of someone close to you whose consequences affect you as strongly as them) HOLD on.  If the one who has made the bad choices to bring on the storm will see the extensive damage that they have done and CHANGE -- then that outcome looks the best.  But often it is during those storms that we see the true person and we need to learn that if someone will bring these storms into our lives then it may be necessary to change course and break free.  

Take a clear look at what brought this storm onto your life.  If it is consequences to your bad choices, then are you willing to change?  And if it was due to someone else, are you finding them broken and ready to change the path of their life?  If not, then hold on because the storms will only come more often and probably get stronger and more destructive.  

Learn from bad times.  The purpose for discipline is to learn bad or painful consequences come from bad choices or behavior -- and reward and good consequences come from obedience, good choices and good behavior.  So learn from the bad ones.  Remember the fear and hurt of the storm - and change what has to be changed to avoid them in the future.  And don't close off in your own world and think you are suffering alone.  What about your children (if you are a parent) - or your parents - your friends?  There is always a ripple effect and others are affected.  Rarely is something just about you.  

Become stronger.  Let the bad storms make you stronger rather than weaker.  That is a choice - and if it means you need to get some help for the next storm, then now is the time to get that help.  Look around and see who stands by you to get you through the storms - and hold tight to them.  They are proving their loyalty and love for you.  Don't make a bad choice and take that for granted!  Storms will come in this life... of that you can be sure.  But you can choose whether you are going to stand firm through the storms you have no choice but go through, and make choices to avoid going through storms that could actually be avoided.  

Often I think of how I want to look back upon my life, and I don't want to see that I chose all the wrong choices, that I made it ALL about me, that I was self-centered or selfish.  I want to look back and see that I learned through each storm I went through, that I became stronger, that I tried to help others by being open and honest about my own experiences and didn't stand on pride but rather humility.  HOLD on through the storms.  There is another day coming and the sun will shine again.