I’m Not Fazed
Every time I get to get away I get a fresh perspective on things. Recently, while at a conference in Florida, I had the opportunity to spend my early morning hours watching the ocean and pool area of the hotel where we were staying. Whether the skies were dark and the seas were raging or it was calm and sunny, these hotel workers were out just taking care of business as usual, cleaning the pool, picking up debris, without any regard to the weather. I couldn’t help but to think of the Apostle Paul and Philippians 4:12, “I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.”
The locals in Florida told us that they can spot a tourist easily as they’re often saying something about the rain or running in the shops to buy an umbrella. Storms are so common in this area that the locals aren’t surprised one bit. They don’t even give it a second thought. Just a few scriptures earlier we see, Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” Why so often do we dwell on the storm? Why not choose to meditate or think about good things, not the bad.
Another illustration of this right mentality was seen one evening as we were in the hotel conference hallway getting ready to go into the meeting. The doors leading to the balcony were thrust open with flashes of purple lightning and booms of thunder as strong winds took the drapes with them onto the balcony. We were admittedly a bit frantic running at these doors trying to save the drapes and keep the weather out, but I noticed when we tried to grab the attention of the staff walking by they weren’t frantic, surprised, or fazed at all. It was just another day to them. They said, “ok, we’ll lock the doors.” I don’t know about you, but when I saw their response I was a bit amazed by how calm they stayed.
As Christians, we’re supposed to be the light of this world. We’re supposed to be different. We’re supposed to know how to abase and how to abound, how to go through both the sunny days and the days of storms. This was what we call an “ouch hallelujah” moment. James 1:2-3, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.” That trial only makes you stronger, if you look at it the right way. James 1:12 (ESV), “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” We need to look at the storms that come our way as just another day, no big deal, we’ll just lock the door.
We need to start preparing for trial differently. God promised we’d have it, because we have a real enemy. 1 Peter 5:8-9 (ESV), “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.” Start your days with the decision not to be phased by the thunder, the lightning, the wind, or otherwise. Stand firm in your faith, knowing you’re going to the other side, no matter what!