Have you ever felt like you were in the middle of a monsoon? You’ve been covered in about 84 inches of water, the mudslide has taken out your backyard and is advancing on your house. You’ve long given up the safety of an umbrella, and are just hoping to survive the day without losing your shoes.
Okay – so maybe you haven’t been in the middle of a literal monsoon, but what about the monsoon winds of life?
- Relationships that just won’t work.
- That sudden sense of aloneness that we all wake up to from time to time.
- Then there are life’s transitions – this child is getting mouthy, while this one has clammed up.
- This child needs about $100 worth of sports equipment, that one needs …
- Suddenly having to learn new things just to stay current.
Somewhere in the middle of all this comes the mighty monsoon waves. With a little bit of finesse and loads of prayer, you can ride the waves clear through to the calm which is sure to come. Let’s take a look at these waves:
1. Guilt. When you are getting hit by wave after wave of life, there is the inevitable wave of guilt. “I am falling behind, I have let someone down.” Pretty soon, the stress convinces us that we have caused the monsoon to happen and if we were just (somehow perfect) we wouldn’t have all these problems. Matthew 5:45 says “He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” God is God and you are not. Lay your cares at His feet and let Him carry the universe. That is what He is there for. That is why Jesus died on the cross – so that you could lay it all down and just talk with God.
2. What About Me? Wave number 2 is the wave of selfishness. Somewhere in the middle of the wave we discover that we forgot ourselves. So, we get mad because we aren’t getting our needs taken care of. We don’t do anything about it because we have the feeling that it should be someone’s responsibility to take care of us like we are taking care of everyone else.
You know, the widow of Zarephath was going down fast. She was at the end of her rope with nowhere to go, nothing to give and Elijah asked her for bread. She said “we are getting ready to make our last and die” (Kim’s paraphrase). Elijah said “give your first portion to me.”
Seriously? That’s bold. What is even bolder is that she did it, and she found that by giving of herself when she had nothing left to give, she had plenty – not only that day, but for all the days to come.
Here is my suggestion: Go wash your face. Put on face cream. Put lotion on your feet. Take your time with God. Find your basics of self care. Do them every day no matter what. This is what you do for you. The rest you do because God has called you to do it.
Consider this: when you are in an airplane, the stewardess gives directions on what to do in a crash. One of the directions is this: First put the oxygen mask on your face before you put it on your child’s face. Why? Because if you are passed out, you can’t put a mask on anyone’s face.
3. This is never going to end. The final wave I want to talk about is the hardest. There comes a time in every trial season when you feel like you are stuck in it forever.
There is a time in the baby delivery call “transition.” During this time, your body is getting ready for the final stage of giving birth – you are almost at the end, almost ready to push. The contractions are very close together, very intense. They say that women will get up out of their hospital beds and announce that they are done. That they quit and that they are going home. They are also known to punch their husbands.
Not that long ago, I was watching two year olds. One day, a normally docile young man announced to me “I am done with church.” And I guess he meant it. Within three minutes he was unconsolable, sobbing and kicking. We finally had to call his parents. He had reached the end of his ability to cope and he was done.
There are so many times during our monsoon seasons that we just wish mommy and daddy were waiting on the other side of the door to take us home and make this whole thing end. That this whole ordeal would be over.
But we are the adults. We are the grownups, and our heavenly Father has led us into this monsoon season. He is teaching us to ride the waves.
Monsoons are necessary for life. They bring life. They bring health. Without the monsoons, parts of the planet are lifeless, arid and well… dull.
Monsoons can be devastating, but God didn’t bring you out here to drowned. Here are some ways to survive.
- Be prepared. Ps. 119:11 “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”
- Don’t go it alone. Ecclesiastes 4:12 “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
- Let the winds drive you into God’s lap. Psalm 91
- Ride the waves with God’s grace. Psalm 27 , Proverbs 3:5-6