The sirens were blaring and I could hear the hoarse whistling of the wind tearing through the tree branches outside my bedroom window. I peeked outside just as a flash of lightening burst throughout the cloudy skies. I jumped back and walked to the couch. The weatherman was pointing to the colored area where the tornado warning was the strongest. My heart had started to beat faster and all my thoughts collided. What if the storm came to my area? I had no idea what I would do.
The weatherman kept saying, "If you're in this area, it's time to take cover." I had heard over the years that in a house you go to the tub and cover yourself with a mattress. I couldn't see how I was going to be able to carry my full size mattress in to my bathroom alone. That's the feeling that reverberated through my body. I was alone. There was no one there to keep me calm. No one to remind me that it was going to be okay. No one to help me carry the mattress. I was scared.
I wanted to keep listening to the weatherman, but I also wanted to stop listening. His report was adding to the tension. Sitting on the couch as the sirens continued to play was not working, so I got up and went to the bathroom. I started cleaning the tub, then I cleaned the sink, and then I cleaned the toilet. My focus was no longer on the storm outside. Inside my bathroom, it was calm and I was cleaning.
As I cleaned, the sirens stopped. As I cleaned, my heart beat slowed to its normal rhythmic pattern. As I cleaned, my thoughts were no longer racing. By the time I made it back to the couch, I was calm, and the storm outside had lost its power.
This whole situation ignited the thoughts of how productivity affects how we endure a storm. Whether spiritual, physical, emotional, or relational we all face all types of life storms. No one is exempt. I was literally in a tornado warning and thunderstorm. The things that allowed me to endure then are the same things that will allow me to endure during the other storms of life. There are four key things that should help anyone endure a storm.
#1. During a life storm, keep busy.
On the night of the real thunderstorm, I busied myself with cleaning my bathroom. When we are idle, we tend to replay the problem or conflict we are experiencing. The cleaning allowed me to keep my mind off something I had no control over. Basically I couldn't stop the storm by thinking about how much damage it could do to me. I needed to keep busy and focus on something that I could manage.
#2. Be around others
During this storm, I felt alone, and there was physically no one else around me. During the storm of life people often feel alone. In some cases, people feel like they are the only one dealing with a situation or problem. When people reach out to others they realize that someone else is also experiencing or have experienced the same situation. Usually if they have experienced it, then they can help others through it.
#3. Take cover
The night of the real storm could have been more serious than how things actually transpired. In any storm people should protect themselves. This could be protecting yourself with the Word of God. Saying a simple prayer of protection to comfort yourself, helps people to endure any tough situation. Apart of taking cover is preparing and knowing what to do in the situation. We don't prepare the best in the middle of the situation, but before it begins.
#4. Believe the end is soon
The hope factor is important. Believe that the storm will not last forever. The entire thunderstorm lasted about an hour and thirty minutes. The storms of life may last varying lengths, but it always ends. Every storm has an end time.
Prepare for the storm before it comes. People are often overcome my a storm that attacked them by surprise and they were not prepared to fight back. It's not a matter of whether or not there will be a storm. The occurrence of a storm is definite. When and its impact are unknown variables that we have to be prepared to handle.
I know I'm going to prepare by making sure I start lifting weights so I can drag my mattress into the bathroom during the next storm.