Weathering Storms in the Company of Others
Whether it is a torrential downpour with winds akin to the pre-hurricane and advancing tornado furry or a personal storm: be it health, soul or relational it is not easy to endure storms alone. Being with others in the midst is strangely comforting even when the outcome is uncertain.
The sight of cows huddled together during a storm is an instructive image. Somehow they innately sense how to respond and do what might help them survive.The first time I saw a group of cows bunched together at the corner of a field, we were driving through a severe thunderstorm. The image of those cows became imprinted on my mind. I could not imagine what would happen to them, but when I saw them huddled together I did think "what a good idea"…a kind of a phenomenon.
Someone raised on a cattle ranch offered: “Cattle do bunch up right before a storm and you can generally see them with their backs to the wind. They also bunch up when it is hot. I can't figure that one out as it looks like it would make it hotter for them.”
Another: “I grew up on a farm, ours would huddle together even in the barn on cold days (nights). We'd have to warm up our hands before milking or risk getting kicked through the barn wall.”
According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac “if cows huddle, a bad storm is approaching.”
Of course they do that – they are wired for it. No one taught them to huddle in a storm or when it is cold. God created them that way.
In the same way God He wired us to need and be dependant on Him and on others. He never intended for believers to face storms alone. He promises never to leave us (Hebrews 13:5). He said nothing could separate us from His love (Romans 8:38-39)… even the worst possible personal storm. He gave us resources – His Spirit, His Word, His people – the body of Christ.
He placed us in the Body of Christ. The Christian life is meant to be lived in community with a protocol for community spelled out in the New Testament. Consider this sampling:
Romans 15:7 Accept one another;1 Cor 12:25 Care for one another;
Gal. 6:2 Bear one another’s burdens
Eph. 4:32 Forgive one another and Be kind to one another;
Eph. 5:21 Be subject to one another;
1 Thess 5:11 Encourage one another and build up one another;
Heb 10:24 Spur one another on to love and good deeds;
James 5:16 Confess faults to one another and pray for one another;
1 Peter 4:9 Be hospitable to one another
1 Peter 4:10 Serve one another
1 John 4:11 Love one another
Romans 14:13 Let us not judge one another
Gal. 5:15 do not bite and devour one another
Gal. 5:26 not envying each other
Col. 3:9 do not lie to each other
James 4:11 do not slander one another
James 5:9 do not grumble against each other
Taking a lesson from the cows perhaps we should also say when the storms approach and assail us “huddle together with one another”.
I have personally benefitted in the midst of a storm being accompanied by others- phone calls, presence, prayer, sitting/ listening, texts. I can't imagine persevering and enduring without the help of the sweet Body of Christ. And, I can't imagine not being able to offer that to others when I have had the priviilege of doing the accompanying.
How is it for you in the storms you are facing right now? Do you have someone who will pray with you and for you? Do you have a group who knows you well and will intercede for you during a storm? Is there some “one another” you can reach out to to encourage and be there for who is in the middle of a huge storm?
“Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.” Psalm 9:10
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This is a great description of the Christian walk that we all should be doing. Thanks Gail for this terrific blog post.