All of us have experienced the power of a storm. I was recently speaking with a woman who was looking for a new patio table and umbrella. A quick moving storm blew over both the glass table and umbrella. The table was shattered and the umbrella ruined.
The key to surviving storms is preparation. Knowing the weather forecast helps. Reading the signs that the sky pro-vides (“red sky in morning, sailor take warning”) also helps. Folding up the umbrella will protect it from being blown around. Anchoring the table will keep it stable in the midst of a storm. As the old saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” (Benjamin Franklin)
The times we live in are spiritually very stormy. The existence of God, what we believe about God, the way of life the Lord teaches us, what we see as truly valuable: all of these things are being called into question. It seems that our culture has been yielded to demonic principalities and powers. Many people are spiritually adrift, not anchored to anything. Spiritually speaking they are, “…infants, tossed by waves and swept along by every wind of teaching arising from human trickery, from their cunning in the interests of deceitful scheming.” (Ephesians 4:14)
How can we stay anchored amid this kind of storm? The umbrella and the table can give us some lessons. Umbrellas are made to protect people from rain or sun. However, if they are wide open in windy conditions they act like sails. Most umbrellas are vulnerable to wind.
Our minds are a bit like umbrellas. They need to be open to the truth to function in a proper manner. However, if they are open to influences that pollute or deceive, our minds will foster desires that pull us away from God. Sometimes we are called to answer deceit with the truth. At other times we must simply close ourselves off from error. The Psalmist says:
My life is always at risk, but I do not forget your law. The wicked have set snares for me, but from your precepts I do not stray. (Psalm 119:109-110)
…hold fast to the hope that lies before us. This we have as an anchor of the soul, sure and firm, which reaches into the interior behind the veil, where Jesus has entered on our behalf, as forerunner, becoming high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek. (Hebrews 6:18b-20)
Though the mountains fall away and the hills be shaken, My love shall never fall away from you nor my covenant of peace be shaken, says the LORD, who has mercy on you. (Isaiah 54:10)