You too, be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.

James 5: 8

 

It takes real strength to stay calm and peaceful when there is so much turmoil happening all around us. A level of courage that is supernatural is required if we are to discover and to actually be filled with joy when the chaos that is caused by the tornado like wind which ensues from turmoil hits us squarely in the face. We are left in a state where we are knocked down, driven to shelter, and using all of our energy to pick up the rubble and clear away the debris that was our orderly universe a few moments before.

 

As I have heard throughout my life, preparedness is the key to handling these kinds of events. For it seems that even the toughest of situations are made more manageable when they were anticipated and survival skills were practiced, supplies were stored up, and a plan for restoration of what was damaged has been created. When God tells us to strengthen our hearts He is, in fact, saying that He doesn’t want us to be caught unprepared when life’s storms come at us. Christ is my reliable Savior in and through all, God’s word is my guide book and map to safety, and my community of faith is always with me to hold me up, to dig me out when the walls fall in, and to shine a bright light onto the path to the safety of higher ground.

 

Like all exercise plans, the one that gets us ready to stay strong in this life requires commitment, real and personal ownership of the desire to change, and an understanding of the fact that transformation happens slowly. Thus, if I am going to stick with it until lasting results are achieved, I need to be patient with the process and trust that the Lord will take me to the place where I need to go. Then, when the storm winds hit, I can turn toward them, face into the fury, and even know joy as I delight in the presence of the Spirit of the Lord in their midst.