As I meditated on our theme for the year; ‘The Perfect Man & The Storm’, one question kept popping up in my head: will the perfect man be able to stand the perfect storm? Meteorologically, a perfect storm “is a particularly violent storm arising from a rare combination of adverse meteorological factors”. In our day to day lives, it is “an especially bad situation caused by a combination of unfavourable circumstances.” It is that moment when everything and anything that can possibly go wrong does in fact go wrong and most often simultaneously.
So I ask myself, can our canoes, boats or ships survive the perfect storm or a perfect storm? Can we walk on the water when a perfect storm is raging? The answer is yes but it depends. I say it depends because it depends on which perfect man we are riding out the storm with. We are works in progress; we are “perfect” or more appropriately, mature in some areas of our lives but in many other areas we are not. We are constantly being worked on by the Holy Spirit and so in of ourselves, we are useless when a perfect storm is raging. In our current unfinished states we may be able to weather certain minor storms, and we mostly do that. We experience certain disappointments and struggles and we are able to get ourselves through.
However, storm systems similar to perfect storms or even regular storms with an uptick in intensity require a perfect man. Thanks be to God! we have a perfect man in whose shadow we can confidently stride. We have a fleet admiral in whose fleet we can safely sail with our broken rudders, torn sails, crushed sterns and uneven keels. So how do we, in our current states of ongoing perfection stand when the perfect storm rages? :
Tune our radio frequency: a fleet is made up of numerous ships and boats, commanded by the fleet admiral. He communicates with his fleet and subordinates on a certain radio frequency or communication channel, if you are sailing in that fleet and your ship’s frequency is tuned to the wrong band you’ll miss the instructions of your commander, you’ll miss the life changing techniques of sailing the tempestuous seas of this world. Oh yes there are other frequencies you can tune your radio to; advice will come from many quarters, some may seem reasonable, even scriptural but the question will remain, is this the direction the Lord wanted? did he want you to lower your sail? Did he want you to pick up speed? Did he want you to go 12 nautical miles and anchor? Beloved when the storms are raging around us, even when the waves are calm and we seem to be gliding on a glorious journey let us pray for the Spirit of the Lord to tune our ears to His voice. He is the master of the waves, the Lord high admiral of the seas, the lightning before the thunder. Oh that night when the storm was raging I dare say the Lord knew every facet and fact of the storm; wind speed, direction, pressure, cloud density etc but Jesus was asleep. Even in His sleep, He was very much aware of all the efforts they were making to save themselves. He didn’t wake up and say why didn’t you call Me. He waited until they sought instructions from the fleet commander. Let us stop the flailing and the frantic yet unnecessary actions when the storms arise. Instead let us close that distance between our lips and the ears of the Lord and ask the Lord to make our ears sensitive to his voice.
The power of perfect partnerships: now ships and boats sail in fleets for various strategic reasons and naval formations are not just an art form, they serve various strategic purposes. Ships in the fleet complement one another, be it in defence or an attack. We also in our not so perfect states, sailing with a perfect commander need to complement one another when the storms come. Those with perfectly constructed sails shield those with broken sails and catch the wind for them, tugboats help move ailing ships along, ice breakers clear the path. It is imperative that as Christians, when our perfect storms arise, we seek the support of those ships around us that are battle and storm tested, those ships that have been built to advanced stages by the Holy Spirit. Their rallying around us will be encouraging, their strengths will help complement our weaknesses. They should not be our fi rst point of call (the Lord should be) but they shouldn’t be ignored either.
The last thing I want to talk about regarding standing during the perfect storm is self. Yes we are not wholly perfect, yes we are not masters of even the volta lake much more the Atlantic but if we are to stand during the perfect storm, we need to allow the Holy Spirit to do some advanced work on us. We need to be transformed, renewed, parts broken and restored, chunks removed, wood planed etc. so we can be sturdy and anchored. We can’t expect the Spirit to work when we neglect prayer and the Word because as we gaze at the Word, we are transformed into His image. Also, the Holy Spirit is the best person to fix our blemishes as we gaze in the mirror of the Word. As we go on our knees to pray we acknowledge the poverty and ineptitude of our own strength and summon the impressive might of the heavens. As Spurgeon puts it “prayer thins the feathers of God's young eaglets, so that they can learn to soar above the clouds”. And I will add the storms. We need to engage the Spirit for Him to engage us, we need to draw nigh to Him to have Him draw nigh to us, we need to lay ourselves bare before Him so His delicate fingers can firmly hammer and mould. This is how our ships will be storm ready.
In conclusion, our ability to stand firm and anchored during a storm is not dependent on the nature of the storm system. Regardless of whether the storm is perfect or not, with all the possible elements mysteriously, yet conveniently aligning, whether it’s just a wind blowing or wind with sleet or a hurricane combined with snowballs of fire, our ability to stand firm is dependent on being anchored to the perfect Man, our perfect King, our perfect fleet commander who calms the storms with His voice, our perfect Lord in whom by the power of the Holy Spirit we are being made perfect women and men.
May the Lord give us grace to weather the perfect storms. Amen