Are storms good for anything? Jesus sure thought they were. On more than one occasion He sent his Disciples directly into a storm. Jesus used storms as great learning tools, and as parents, we can certainly follow His example. Since storms are unavoidable, it is important for parents to take advantage of the training opportunities that come with storms.
On one occasion Jesus went with His disciples into a storm (Mark 4). When the storm began to sink the boat, the Disciples went to the front and woke Jesus up from a nap. “Don’t you even care that we are about to drown?” they screamed. Jesus’ response was to get up and calm the storm. The next time they faced a storm Jesus sent them onto the lake while He stayed on shore (Mark 6). This time, seemingly alone, they panicked and became confused. Because of their fear of the storm, they did not notice Jesus walking on water coming to help them. Once again He calmed the storm.
Prior to the storm experience, the disciples had witnessed His power to help, heal and feed thousands of others. But observing the power of Jesus in the lives of others can never take the place of experiencing His power personally.
Storms offer parents many training opportunities, but none greater than the chance to focus on personal faith. When a storm, (any kind of storm) … weather storms, health storms, family storms, etc. is at hand, parents have the opportunity to teach children the reality of faith. You will rely on your resources or your resourcefulness to get you through the storms. However, the bigger storms prove that you are inadequate to the task. This is the time for parents to point children to God. He is the only One that can get through Category 10 storms.
Point your children to God by praying for them. Keep standing on the power of God by waiting on the storm in faith rather than fear.
There is a destructive beauty in a storm. The storms clean out all the dead branches from our trees. Storms also show us areas of false hope. Cleaning up my yard after the storm I found two basic things on my lawn. There were branches that had fallen from trees and roof tiles. Most of the branches were dead or half-dead, and should have been pruned months before the storm. The other new lawn ornaments that needed to be removed were roof tiles. The roof looked so secure but the tiles had obviously been loose for a long time. The trees looked so healthy but there were obviously some branches that should have been trimmed. Storms point out things that need to be dealt with or fixed…both in our yards as well as our lives. Things we place our security in that were only providing a false sense of hope.
After renewed faith, there comes a renewed sense of family. Parents can use the preparations for the storm and the clean up after the storm to pull the family together as a unit.Don’t plop the children in front of a television. Pull them together to help. Give them a sense of meaning. Even a three year old can help fill water jugs.
Storms bring us to a focus on our faith and a partnership in family. There is a third training opportunity that comes with the storms of life. Storms help us take the focus off of self in order to turn to the needs of others.
A few years ago after a hurricane had passed over, my cell rang and it was a friend calling to check on us. He asked if we had power and when he found out that we did not, moments later my friend and his son arrived at my house. You see, my friend owns a generator, but he didn’t need it since his power stayed on. Instead of going to work on his own destroyed fence, he helped his son focus on others and started by hooking our home up to their generator.
This wise father used a storm to minister to others, and did it in a way to train his son about ministry. They did it (and many other things for the neighborhood) together!
Now is the time for all of us to use the storm to teach and minister. There are neighbors to our very near east, in the Bahamas, suffering after the latest storm. We have a great opportunity to teach our children about sacrifice by telling them that we are not going to do things that we ordinarily would do because we are going to give to help those hardest hit by the storm.
Can anything good come from a storm? Well, if there’s truth in the verse that says “everything works together for the good of those who love God,” then even a storm can yield fruit for us to grow from (Romans 8:28). Our responsibility as parents is to see that we do not let our children miss the fruit in the diet of life’s circumstances.
Visit parentingonpurpose.org for more advice from Dr. Bob Barnes and Torrey Roberts.