By Sabrina Schlesinger
Life is full of surprises, isn’t it? Some surprises are welcomed, like when you find out you are pregnant after trying for months or even years! But some surprises knock the wind out of your sails. You find out that your child is getting bullied at school (or your child is the bully!), or you feel that first lump in your chest, or you lost your job. These biggies can cause all sorts of questions to arise, can’t they? How am I going to make ends meet? How am I going to protect my child? What if it’s cancer?
I remember when I felt my first lump in my chest. I was shocked actually. I do self-examinations regularly, and I couldn’t believe what I was feeling! After the doctor confirmed that it was indeed a lump and needed to be checked out I tried to remain calm. But as any mom would struggle, I had the flood of “what if’s” coming at me from every angle. I remember walking home from my doctor’s appointment, putting on some worship music, and saying over and over to myself, “I am not going to overreact and make a big deal about this until I know what it is!” But even as I said it, I could feel fear welling inside of me.
The fear I felt surprised me too! I am a woman of faith, and I know my God can heal. I have experienced a miraculous healing personally, yet there I was, walking and crying and praying and crying some more. The thing that got to me the most was the thoughts of “what if this is cancer and what if I have to leave this earth before I get to see my daughters walk down the aisle, or my son graduate from high school?” I wasn’t scared for myself, I was fearful over what would happen to my children if I were no longer around.
Jesus’ disciples experienced similar fears and struggles.
Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. And suddenly a great storm arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. (Matthew 8:23-26 NKJV)
Suddenlies happen to all of us. Life and God never promise us they won’t. Those out-of-our-control storms of life can hit us at any time, just like the disciples. They were not prepared for this storm. They were not expecting this onslaught of turbulence.
Although we may not be able to predict when a storm occurs in our life, are there some ways we can prepare ourselves? I think so.
Here are three ways you can prepare yourself for the unexpected storms of life:
1. Remember that although you may be surprised by the suddenlies of life, Jesus is not.
He is not intimidated by our storms, in fact I love that in the midst of this storm, you find Jesus totally relaxed and taking a nap! When Jesus starts freaking out, that is your cue to freak out! But IF in the midst of the raging seas He is chilling, snuggle up alongside of Him and find rest in His peace. He’s got this! He’s got you!
2. Prepare your response now.
There is a popular quote amongst the military that says something like this, “When the battles come, you do not rise to the challenge, you shrink to the level of your training.”
I play little games in my head all of the time. I call them imagination breaks. I play out a crazy scenario in my head and I imagine my response. I do this often enough because if that situation ever takes place, I want my default reaction to be what I have rehearsed over and over in my thought life.
This is faith in its simplest definition. Faith is simply having confidence in a certain divine truth. That word confidence means to be convinced.
In most scenarios (you know, the big and bad ones we don’t want to think about), I always end my imagination break with a praise session to God, remembering that THROUGH it all and IN it all, He is good.
3. Remind your storm it is subject to the voice of God.
The disciples may have lacked some faith, and quite frankly, so do I at times, but when Jesus spoke to the storm, it had to obey.
It is good for us to remember Jesus is in our boat with us. We are not alone. And whenever He speaks to our storm, it will cease. It is also good to remind ourselves that He is God, and His timing is perfect. It is not my job to tell Jesus to calm my storm, it is my job to run to Him for help, to trust Him and to let Him take care of the rest. He knows what we need and He sees the bigger picture.
When God says it is finished, it is!
For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.” – Isaiah 41:13
Sabrina is a mother to three biological girls and one adopted boy. She is also a pastor’s wife, freelance graphic designer and mom coach! She resides in beautiful San Diego where the sun shines every day. She prefers chai lattes over coffee, mac-n-cheese over vegetables, and staying in over going out. Check her out on Instagram and Facebook!