Love knows to find shelter from a storm of life

by Craig on May 16, 2012

What is best way to survive a storm of life?source

The best way to survive a storm of life?

Our Lord had his way.
His whole life was a storm, I think.

He lost his earthly dad early on. There’s no mention in the gospels of Joseph once Jesus was an adult. And he bequeathed his mother to John from the cross – which he would not have done if Joseph were still alive.

There were people trying to kill him …
from the time he was an infant (MT 2:16)…
to the time he was preaching (LK 4:29)…
to the time they finally succeeded. (LK 23:46)

I have no reason to doubt the words of Isaiah. Our Lord was…

spurned…avoided…a man of suffering knowing pain.
Like one from whom you turn your face… (IS 53:3)

Yet nobody was ever able to shake Our Lord’s peace, except for one night in a garden.

And I’ve been considering the way of birds through storms.
I think, in part, because of the words of Our Lord…

Look at the birds in the sky. (MT 6:26)

I’ve found the worst ways through a storm of life are to give up, give in or to try and ignore the storm while flying through it.

One way to survive a storm of life, a sad one, is let the hurt...hurt

source

And I’ve found the noblest and best way to confront a storm is to steal its power and “mount up with wings of eagles”. (IS 40:31)

But I think that night, in the garden, Our Lord might have considered the words of David.

If only I had wings like a dove
that I might fly away and find rest.
Far away I would flee;
I would stay in the desert.
I would soon find a shelter
from the raging wind and storm. (PS 55:7-9)

Allowing a storm to pound on us without fighting back isn’t the way.
But we don’t always have within us the power to fly above the storm.

Our Lord found a place in that Garden…
a place in his heart…
shelter under the wings of the Father.

I’ve noticed that this is the way most birds make it through storms.

Some find a tree with leaves, under which is some respite.
Some find an overhang to sit underneath until the storm passes.
Some flock together and find safety in numbers…

One way to survive a storm of life is finding strength in mumberssource

…sharing warmth, protecting each other from the cold.

We all have limited strength.
Perfect faith amid trial is impossible.

Sometimes all you can do is seek some shelter.

And it’s that way I’ll consider next…and last.

Because in seeking shelter from a storm there is also danger.

Please come back.

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Cora May 16, 2012 at 10:16 am

Craig, at the moment, I really can’t think of any storm that raged through my life that I was able to really rise up on wings of eagles and fly directly into and then above the storm. That would be a major victory, a real “biggie” for me, and I’d be shouting it from the rooftops. But I have sought and found shelter, I have dropped my anchor in the harbor and found it sturdy enough to steady my boat, I’ve stood firmly under my little umbrella of faith, and I have sought the safety of numbers in the flock. Lately, I’ve tried to set down on paper my own set of “life principles” — things I just know to be true, that I depend on with my life and soul, and will get me through the worst of the worst. Storms come — it’s a fact of life. And I’ve watched those little birds sitting under their leaf umbrellas. And I’ve watched the BIG turkey vultures sit out in the open, on top of an old dead tree, with wings spread out, enjoying the free fresh shower. I’ve always wondered if any of theme ever got struck by lightening sitting like that. Anyways, I’m babbling here. I know you are going through storms right now, Craig. And I know your word, “SEE”, is coming into play here . . . again! You WILL see, and you will know, and you will find your safe place through the storm. Still praying for you!

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Craig May 16, 2012 at 12:40 pm

Cora, I still find it amazing that the naming of a year can have such lingering impact. Resolutions are done just about as soon as there started – but this naming of the year thing – it’s amazing – and perilous. And about those vultures – I’m sorry – but your ongoing struggle with them makes me smile – that’s because, I imagine, it’s not MY struggle – and yes – I’m sure one or two of them have gotten their just desserts by peacocking at the top of the tree in a storm. And the Eagle thing – I’ve done it – ‘often – it really IS the best way – to fly with abandon into the storm – with God – find what it is in it that will make you grow – and then ride it like a bronco and grow. I’ve also tried all the other options to – except for strength in a crowd – you know me – even after the year nemed “Connect” – I’m still a solitary little bird too often. God bless you Cora!

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Janae May 16, 2012 at 10:46 am

Oh friend, I feel your ache and questions – I see your determination and desire to trust, to lean in, to seek shelter. You are seen as you traverse.
Thank you for being so vulnerable. Janae

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Craig May 16, 2012 at 12:47 pm

Janae, I think maybe the thing that I’ve learned to do best in this life is to wobble – but not fall down. I’m a weeble. And thank you, I WILL find shelter in the storm – but what I really want is to rise with wings of eagles – flying into the storms with abandon – using its power lift me higher. God bless and keep you Janae.

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brian miller May 16, 2012 at 12:33 pm

challenging post that makes us think more than anything because there is no easy answer….the storm may be just what we need to get moving again and maybe we have to walk through it to see the other side…and maybe sometimes we are spared and rise above it, and others we are not…and shelter may not be where we need to be…but…anyway you got me thinking…smiles.

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Craig May 16, 2012 at 12:51 pm

I’m thinking too Brian, and of all the options, I think the only one that does no good is to lie down, give up, give in – and let the storm batter us relentlessly – to go through the pain and not use it is the worst choice – yet sometimes it’s our only choice because we just haven’t got the strength. But if we have faith – and USE that faith – I think that’s where the Eagles wings make their entrance. Thank you. Brian, and God bless and keep you.

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Lisa notes May 16, 2012 at 12:52 pm

Seeking shelter…I always wonder where birds go during a storm. I never see them. We have ducks on a lake behind our house. Sometimes they seem slow to seek shelter, but when the storm is at its peak, they’re never to be found. Interesting thoughts to consider, Craig. You’re good at this. :-)

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Craig May 16, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Lisa, I’ve often wondered where those birds go to – and now I know. I think the bigger birds like ducks, and Eagles, they have an easier time with storms – maybe that’s why Jesus talked about the sparrow – sparrows probably often don’t make it through storms. Anyway, thank you Lisa, and has always, God bless and keep you.

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Cora May 16, 2012 at 6:18 pm

Craig, I was so curious about this question, that I went and looked it up. It’s pouring rain here right now, and there isn’t a bird to be found out there. So, this is what I found. . .

“When hurricane force winds rip roofs off buildings and toss mobile homes, what happens to the birds? Birds are very sensitive to changes in air pressure and know instinctively to take shelter. A sharp drop in barometric pressure alerts them that a big storm is on the way.

When birds detect an approaching storm, especially in the fall when they don’t have a nest or babies to protect, they can high-tail it out of the storm’s path. Strong-flying birds fly ahead of the storm, carried by the winds at the forefront of the system. Other birds don’t go too far, finding any sort of shelter out of the wind, hail and rain.

Luckily, birds’ feet work differently than human hands. When a bird lands, special muscles make their toes automatically tighten around the branch on which they are perched. This holds them in place during high winds or when they sleep. Birds must make an effort to unclench their toes in order to take off. Therefore, during a hurricane, the birds do not necessarily need to hang on tighter – they need to relax!

Woodpeckers and other cavity nesters ride out storms in tree holes, which works unless the tree snaps or is uprooted. Songbirds fly for dear life in advance of storms or try to ride them out, clinging to sturdy, sheltered branches. Shorebirds leave the beaches and move inland.

Some birds are picked up by the storm system and carried long distances. They become trapped in the calm eye by the towering, fierce storms. The eye of the storm, in effect, becomes a bird cage until the hurricane begins to fizzle and birds can escape. It is the eye of the storm that displaces birds, not the strong winds. These displaced birds, known as “Hurricane Birds,” present rare opportunities for birders who keep a list of the birds they see. “Listers” can check off birds on their lifelist they normally wouldn’t see, such as pelagic (ocean-going) birds blown ashore.

Birds living in hurricane areas also suffer when their food supplies, such as fruits and berries, are stripped from trees and shrubs. What can we do to help them? Feed them high protein foods, such as suet, to re-build their strength. “

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Craig May 17, 2012 at 12:45 pm

YOU!!!! There is so much there, there. it seems the behavior of birds in thunderstorms is a lot the same – but a little bit different from hurricanes. But the spiritual analogies – I might have to steal some of these. (◔‿◔) You’re so good to me – so good for my spirit. Thank you my friend. God bless

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A. May 16, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Using your advice from the past and trying to not waste the pain from a current storm, Craig. I look forward to seeing where this goes. It is so true that there is not one pat answer for how to weather storms. It’s why we need the Spirit to help us with scripture, because there are such variances in each of our lives. Truth doesn’t vary, but how to apply it can be a little more complex.

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A. May 16, 2012 at 2:55 pm

P.S. In my current storm, the best choice seems to be to use it to sharpen my flying skills-flying into it without being crushed by it.

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Craig May 17, 2012 at 12:49 pm

just remember A, don’t fly into the storm alone. Flying into a storm without God is different from flying into the storm with him. One way doesn’t carry with it protection. You know? It’s like with James says about temptation – we always quote the verse “resist the devil and he will flee” – but we always leave out the part that says “yield to God… resist the devil and he will flee. It’s one thing to resist without yielding – the results are not nearly as good as with “yielding”. It’s that way with flying into storms to – better to yield to God, THEN fly into the storm, and prayer of others always helps – so I just finished one. God bless you A.

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happygirl May 16, 2012 at 4:15 pm

Oh, these images were a wonderful compliment to the text. Surviving the storms. Comparing the storms of each other’s lives. I wrote about storms today, as well. I loved the images and explanation of birds in storms. This was wonderful.

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Craig May 17, 2012 at 12:52 pm

thank you, if people knew how long I spent looking for just the perfect pictures they’d think I’m crazy – but I heart pictures – they add SO much. Thank you for appreciating them. And I think you should go take a look at your storm post – I’ll do it right now or else I’ll forget. By the time you read this – I’ll already have been there and left a comment. God bless and keep you.

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tara pohlkotte May 16, 2012 at 5:35 pm

i pray that for each storm the right kind of courage. courage to fly or courage to find shelter. for each a great purpose. each are needed both strength and need. but never broken. and oh, the wisdom to know when to fly and when to flock.

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Craig May 17, 2012 at 1:01 pm

AMEN! Tara, the wisdom to know when to fly and when to flock. I’ve mostly been a flyer – I’m getting better at it, but I’m still not so much a part of the flock – and I’m missing out on life by not doing so – as I said – working on it. But you are so right – the wisdom to know when and where to hide, when to fly, went to flock. this was a brilliant comment Tara, thank you, and God bless and keep you!

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imperfect prose May 16, 2012 at 9:18 pm

this made me cry. i am a bird, looking desperately for a tree to land in. thank you for this peaceful post, friend.

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Craig May 17, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Emily, that this touched you – this touches me. It’s only because I read the writing of people like you that I’m able to write like this at all. So thank you, thank you, and God grant Grace and Peace to you and all of your boys.

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Craig May 20, 2012 at 6:50 am

PS and I just finished praying for a tree to pop up soon.

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elizabeth May 17, 2012 at 11:43 am

Under His wings during the storm with the Rock that cannot be shaken beneath your feet. Isn’t it amazing the comforting promises of a refuge, a fortress, that He gives us? So many, many ways He shows to get through the storm.

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Craig May 17, 2012 at 1:05 pm

Elizabeth, under his wings – that’s the best place to hide. He is our rock – he is our fortress! He DOES show us the way – we just need to see with better eyes thank you Elizabeth, and God bless and keep you.

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lori May 17, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Thank you for this post, Craig. It’s so easy for me to get wrapped up in me. But, He has been there facing storm after storm. It’s not about wishing the storm away, which I find myself doing sometimes. Thank you for your gentle reminders :)

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Craig May 19, 2012 at 8:07 am

Lori, it’s so easy for all of us to get wrapped up in “us” – the human condition. I really like how you point out that it’s not just us that face the trials – God, who feels everything we feel, he faces them too. That’s a miraculous little thought. Thank you for the inspiration! And thank you for your comment – IT was awfully nice “gentle reminder” for me. Iron sharpens iron (◠‿◠) God bless and keep you, Lori!

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Caddo Veil May 17, 2012 at 5:02 pm

Hi brother Craig! For some reason today, I’m hanging on to this one–and you left us in suspense (which is a good thing for writers to do!!). Wanted to say also, that I keep you in my prayers each night–praising God for His solution to the health/sleep issues–perhaps the meds will do the trick! Thank you for sharing this lovely blog with us–so much love, so much Jesus. God bless you abundantly, today and always. sis Caddo

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Craig May 20, 2012 at 6:52 am

first, thank you Caddo – I think I’ve been surrounded by more prayer in this year of blogging than ever before – so really – thank you for that! And the sleep thing – at this point – after 15 years – I think if the thorn is removed from my side it will be God. And I think it won’t be removed until it’s done its work. I hate the thorn – I love the God who allows it. Thank you for being here, thank you for being my sister in our Lord. God bless you abundantly too!

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