Building a Life to Withstand the Storms

I am not a handyman. The “Tool Man Taylor” I’m not (that’ll date me right there—a.k.a. Tim Allen’s character on one of my favorite sitcom’s of all time—Home Improvement!). When we purchased our home here in Coeur d’Alene, it was significantly short on storage. My lovely wife did the research and we ordered a 10X12 ft. Tuff Shed from Home Depot. We debated as to whether we should get a “kit” and build it out together, saving a few hundred bucks. I’m so glad we didn’t go that route. Why? Because it may have cost us our marriage…

Knowing my limitations, we ordered the shed to be built on site. After preparing a pad for the building, a two-man crew arrived at noon. A little over two hours later they were done. Two hours! They had a system in place to get the shed done in a short time. Materials were laid out in the right place, they had the right tools (air nail gun—how cool is that!) and you could tell that they had worked together long enough to assist each other in the build. It was truly poetic to see them build my shed.

It would have taken me at least two weekends of yelling, kicking and throwing tools, and eventually calling in favors from my builder friends! As I stated earlier, I don’t know how to build. I’ve never been taught how to put 2X4’s on 24-inch centers, or how to shingle. My new shed is built right and should survive all the inclement weather that North Idaho can throw at it!

That brings me to an important life lesson. Few of us have been taught how to utilize God’s tools to help us frame a life that can withstand life’s disruptive pressures. We hack and chop our way through many of life’s challenges, wondering, “There’s got to be a better way to do this!” There is a better way. Let me suggest a few life lessons I’ve learned that continue to help me weather life’s storms:

  1. Build relationships in advance, because you’ll need them in the future. Scripture constantly admonishes to “love one another, pray for one another, and encourage one another”. When it gets tough, don’t isolate or insulate, but reach out and ask for help. Let me add, social media is amazing, but you need real friends with real faces who can give you a hug when you need it, not just a “like” on your Facebook feed.
  2. Develop spiritual disciplines that work for you; fast, pray, read the bible, read Christian literature (I know a good book—Crazy Life), listen to positive life music, etc.
  3. Take care of your body. Lose 20 pounds. Start walking 30 minutes daily. Do yoga—seriously—I’ve been practicing for over 5 years and it makes a difference.
  4. Connect with a life-giving Bible based church. Beware of toxic churches and ministries that beat you down. Life already has plenty of that.
  5. Focus on God in the storm. He’s bigger. He’s more capable. He cares because He’s in the storm with you.

That’s a short list, but it works. If you prepare in advance for life’s disruptions, you’re less likely to throw tools and yell, making your neighbors hike back indoors!

Remember, life is crazy, but you aren’t!

Dr. Tony

Jonathan Schuler