As writers for Stepping Stones Devotionals we often reference “storms” in our lives, times of turbulence, anxiety, darkness, and impending doom. The usual assumption is that storms come out of nowhere and hit us when we least expect them … that we have no early-warning system. And oftentimes this is true.
But there is a certain group of people (I have been one myself in the past) who actually create and chase life’s storms. Sometimes we aren’t aware we are stirring up a tempest, and we make mistakes and poor choices out of ignorance. But often times, we make conscious choices that lead us right into the eye of a storm … and we repeatedly make those same bad choices. Not only do we create a storm for ourselves, but that same problem also blasts others.
Various reasons exist for making these choices, but the bottom line is that we get some satisfaction or perceived benefit from our choice. The gain might not outweigh the downside of the decision, but in the moment we don’t care, and that little gain is all we focus on. We feel we are invincible … or that the storm will blow a different direction … or I have better protection to minimize the damage from this storm.
Some storms arrive without warning and we cannot avoid them: catastrophic sickness, a car accident, a fallen economy. There are also storms created by our poor decisions. Of course, we know that the enemy is constantly trying to influence us to make bad choices, ones that damage our lives and souls. However, we must also accept that we were created with this beautiful thing called free will. We always have choices to make: avoid the storm or stand in the middle of the tornado.
Today, examine yourself. Identify the areas of your life where you are a storm-chaser. Bad habits, a loose tongue, a caustic attitude, guilt, anger, anxiety issues, relationship problems with a spouse, kids, parents, or co-workers. These usually have some element of storm-chasing. Do you make choices that place you smack in the middle of a storm yet again? Consider choices you could make to avoid a storm … think how you might create your own great weather. Edging Forward will help you examine your decisions, helping you step away from storms and into clear sailing. Your decision, choose well.
Dear Father God, I humble myself under Your almighty hand. As I truthfully examine my past actions, I see I am guilty of creating and chasing storms. I no longer want to seek storms. I also know that You are my lighthouse in the storms I cannot avoid. Help me, Lord, to stop chasing storms and chase You instead. Help me run away from storms by constantly setting my compass toward You. I pray in the name of my early-warning system, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
“Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between life and death, between prosperity and disaster. For I command you this day to love the LORD your God and to keep his commands, decrees, and regulations by walking in his ways. If you do this, you will live and multiply, and the LORD your God will bless you and the land you are about to enter and occupy.
But if your heart turns away and you refuse to listen, and if you are drawn away to serve and worship other gods, then I warn you now that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live a long, good life in the land you are crossing the Jordan to occupy.
Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the decision you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! You can make this choice by loving the LORD your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life. And if you love and obey the LORD, you will live long in the land the LORD swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”