In the midst of a storm there is always, disconcertment, disorientation, distraction, despair, and it does not matter whether the storm is physical or spiritual, whether it is outside or within, there is always a shake to our basic foundations, yet how we manage the situation will determine the results in every circumstance.
I remember as a child. I was only 4 years old and Yet it is still clear in my mind how so many times, my father would go out on the streets, looking for bread to feed his family, and come back with nothing, I remember my mother looking at us in sorrow, hurting at the fact that we were starving, and she had nothing to give us. But one thing I remember clearly, is that she always prayed, and that she never panicked, she always kept her cool, crying rivers at times, weeping uncontrollably often, but cool, and never letting us see the hurt in her heart, always sober, always disciplined, controlled, walking tall. My father was the same, tough, firm, determined; and truly there were moments of weakness in which they thought they would not make it, but the commitment to each other and to their children was unfazed, untarnished.
They were willing to ride the storm together, because they knew that no matter how violent the wind gets, no matter how hard the earth shake under your feet, it will eventually stop shaking, and the calm will return, and most importantly, it is not how much it shakes, or it blows, how you ride the storm will depend on your foundations, and how you come out of it will depend on how you ride it.
I grew up In the Dominican Republic, a land of Hurricanes and earthquakes, we do not have earthquakes very often, but Hurricanes are as common as coffee and the country has adapted to the understanding that the storm will come and will go, and we need to be prepared. It amazes me how the people in Florida and North Carolina for example suffer so much so often, especially those along the coastline; they know they will be hit by a Hurricane at least once every couple of years, and yet over and over again they build their houses in the same spots, and with the same materials. It is like daring the Hurricanes to come back and take their homes away again, and again. Would it not be easier to build with materials that will not be destroyed by Hurricanes, like we do in the Dominican Republic? I call it terminal insanity, but the case does give us a good example of what a culture and a set of believes can do to you and to your behavioral patterns before during and after a storm. Socially and economically speaking, the people of Florida are better off, they can rebuild rapidly, and go on with their lives, until the next storm, the Dominicans cannot afford the next storm, so they prepare for it and this allows them to go on with their lives even in the midst the storm, they cannot afford to rebuild so they build for the storms, and so they do, not only with Hurricanes, but with everything else in their lives.
They are resilient, adaptable, and their apparently weak foundations allow them to carry on, no matter what the circumstance may be, they are tough.
There is a culture that holds to those premises in a much better way.
Those who follow Christ are born again the moment they have an encounter with the son of God, the moment they surrender their lives to him and learn to live under his guidance and teachings. And they learn to be resilient, adaptable. Their foundation is solid, firm, built on the rock that is Jesus Christ. This allows Christ Followers to be unshaken by any kind of storm, be it physical, or spiritual.
A true Christian does not despair or panic under any circumstance, dos not break under pressure, does not weaken under winds or earthquakes, a true Christian can face any Hurricane, and no matter how hard the wind blows, the foundation in which his house is built is unbreakable, and his walls are solid and his roof is sturdy. An earthquake could move the earth up and down or sideways or both ways, but when a Christian is planted on the rock that is Christ Jesus, his house will be shaken, but it will never be broken.
And that is because Christ followers develop a culture of wisdom and understanding, the wisdom of God and the understanding that no storm is strong enough no change the fact that I have life eternal, that I am not of this hearth, that I am just a visitor, and that no matter what happen, if things get really rough, my father will call the embassy and say hey, he is not part of that country, bring him to the embassy and give him protection until things get normal again.
During the earthquake in Haiti, we could see how the nations of the world, provided safe passage for their citizens, how every country sent planes to rescue those who belonged to their land and who were stuck in there, we saw how the US and Canada, while sending relief, would focus on bringing their citizens to their embassies, and from there to the airport and into a plane to bring them back home safe.
I am a citizen of heaven, and in the midst of a storm, that is what my father do, you do not belong there he says, so pack it up and be ready, because I am taking you out. You do not have to suffer the consequences of that storm, you do not have to be in the middle of that disaster area, you do not need to suffer the aftermath, because you are my child, and I am coming to the rescue, so no matter how ugly it gets, no matter how much the earth shake, no matter how hard the wind blows, your house will not be destroyed, your foundation will not be shaken, you can relax, you can sleep good, you can stay put, because you are mine, and if things get real ugly, your passport says Heaven, and you are not naturalized, you do not have a green card, you do not have a visa, you are born again, you are a natural citizen of heaven born of the spirit and nothing, absolutely nothing will keep you there.
Being a child of God does not keep you from going through storms once in a while, but when the power of God is in you, you can have credit card debts, you can have a terminal disease, you can be without work, you can have family, health or financial problems, no problem is too big, no situation is unsolvable, no complication in your life is large enough to take away your peace, because you gain a level of understanding beyond all of that, and life situations cannot touch you, because you belong in the spirit.
When the spirit of God is in you, you learn to deal with situations differently, and when the dust settles, you sake it off and continue your walk as if it never happened. Because all storms have a beginning and an end, and the dust always settles.
Rev. Jose a. Luna
A servant of Christ Jesus