It’s the last weekend of April. May is only two days away, and I’m watching a heavy snowstorm as I sit at my laptop. Eight inches since midnight, and the snow’s still falling.
The black-chinned hummingbird is perching on the glider when he isn’t tanking up at our feeder. But what if there hadn’t been a feeder? What if he’d had to weather this storm on his own?
We’ve all been there. Facing an unexpected problem we can’t solve. Unsure of where to get help. Sometimes not even sure of the first step we should take to get out of the mess we find ourselves in.
How can we make it through the unexpected storms?
Popular culture is full of the images of isolated heroes, giving their all to overcome the opposition by their strength alone. It makes for great fiction and dramatic movies, but it’s not the best way in “real life.”
We’re social beings, and we were created to live in groups of people who care for each other and help each other when times get tough. The most gifted athlete, the most brilliant scientist, the most creative genius―they might do well enough in the ordinary course of life, but what about when things go wrong?
It’s in the times of crisis that we can see our weaknesses and even our failures. It’s when that unexpected storm comes in the form of a struggling child, an ailing loved one, or a financial reverse that our illusion of self-sufficiency can dissolve into panic and desperation.
That’s when we need God to strengthen us and guide us. Jesus promised he’d be there in John 14:15-18 and Matthew 28:20:
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” (ESV)
“And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (ESV)
When I remember that and seek His guidance through reading the Bible and prayer, I can begin to find my way out of whatever mess I’m dealing with.
It’s also when we need each other. The apostle Paul wrote about this in his letter to the Galatian church (Gal. 6:2):
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. (ESV)
The law of Christ is to love one another. One way we show that love is by offering shelter to each other in life’s unexpected storms.
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. (Galatians 6:9-10 (ESV))
We are blessed so we can be a blessing. Let’s watch for the opportunities to be one!
Have you had an opportunity lately to shelter someone going through stormy times?