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Riding the Storm Out

It’s going to rain             The fact of the matter is tough times come to everyone.  There is no dodging it. The secret is to get on with life through the tough times. In future columns, I’ll talk about learning how to change your mindset from negative to positive.  Right now let’s talk about embracing the storm. […]

It’s going to rain

            The fact of the matter is tough times come to everyone.  There is no dodging it.

The secret is to get on with life through the tough times. In future columns, I’ll talk about learning how to change your mindset from negative to positive.  Right now let’s talk about embracing the storm.

I know it’s a tough thing to learn.  But then nothing worth doing is ever easy.

In the Bible—the New Testament to be precise—Jesus talks about building a house on a foundation of stone, and not sand.  He finishes the parable by saying, “And when the rains come . . . .”  You’ll notice he didn’t say, “If the rains come.”

The Bible also says God makes it rain on the just and the unjust.  In other words, it’s going to happen, so accept it and be ready for it.

Rain and storms are good

            Let’s just say it up front, no one really likes being out in a storm. They’re nice when you’re inside and have a cup of coffee or hot chocolate in your hand and can look out through the glass and be glad you’re inside.  But being out in a storm getting wet, ruining your clothes?  Who are we kidding?  Anyone over the age of five doesn’t like it.

But the fact is rain and rain storms are good things.

Nothing on this planet can grow without water. Some things need a lot of it, others not as much.  But rain and water are a necessity. Nothing can live without it.

And stormsare good as well. Even though they are more violent, a good thunderstorm helps clean out weak vegetation and dead wood from forests and tree stands.  The lightning actually helps to fertilize the soil by creating nitrogen.

Without rain and storms, life would cease to exist.

We can safely say we need rain and we need storms.

Embrace the storm

So we can all agree that we’re not going to get through this life without facing storms.

I’m going to say something here that many of you will want to smack me for, but it’s a lesson we all have to learn.

We need to learn to embrace the storm.  Yes, I know it’s tough to do, but it’s not impossible.

Take advantage of it

When you see the storm clouds coming, take cover. Get yourself emotionally to a place where you can shelter and plan and grow.

Also, remember you need water to live. And the storm is carrying away the garbage that has accumulated in your life and giving you water to live.

As that is going on, you can take advantage of the time to plan what your next steps will be. Work on that business plan, figure out the people you need to meet, the contacts you need to make, work out the resources you’ll need, and the list goes on.

This is what John Maxwell calls working with the seasons.  (Check out Great Leaders ask Great Questionsby Maxwell.)  A stormy season is one for planning and preparing.

Andy Andrewscalls these storms of perfection.

Patience will win

As the storm is raging, keep moving forward, however slowly, and learn to be patient.  Patience isn’t just sitting around waiting for something to happen. Spiritual leader Dieter F. Uchtdorfexplains it this way:  “Patience means active waiting and enduring. It means staying with something and doing all that we can—working, hoping, and exercising faith; bearing hardship with fortitude, even when the desires of our hearts are delayed. Patience is not simply enduring; it is enduring well!” (General Conference April 2010)

Denis Waitley says this is learning to do within when you’re doing without, this ability to envision the final goal when things are so far away and impossible to see, and still keep going.

After the storm

Have you ever seen the desert after a storm and all the plants—including cactus— blossom?  It’s a sight to behold, and a thing of beauty. Have you ever taken a deep breath after a storm has passed through and smelled how fresh and clean things are? That is what is happening in your own life when the storm passes through.  It’s cleaned things out and carried away the garbage, and given you water to live.

Just be ready to hit the ground running when the sun comes out again.

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