How To Sleep On A Stormy Night
“And the rain descended and the floods came and the winds blew and beat upon that house; and it fell
not: for it was founded upon a rock” (Matthew 7:25).
Years ago, the story has it, the people of a small inland village in northern England who sought
employment had the habit of coming to the town square, particularly on Monday mornings, that the prospective
employer might interview them. If a person desired his house painted, he would go to the town square and
engage the workman he needed. Or, if a farmer wanted someone to assist him with the fall harvest, he could
likely find him on the village green. Regardless of the type of work to do, there was usually someone suited for
One morning a man who lived on a farm came seeking someone to help him with the general farm
work–caring for stock, assisting in the fields, keeping up the fences, etc. He approached a robust young man
who seemed quite alert and asked if he thought he could qualify for the job. The young man answered every
question in the same manner: “I can always sleep on a stormy night.” This struck the farmer as somewhat
strange, but the man appeared normal in every other respect, so he was employed and put to work.
After some weeks, a storm struck in the dead of night with powerful suddenness. The rain came in
torrents, and the wind blew a gale. The flashes of lightning and the roar of thunder awakened the farmer who,
fearing for the safety of his stock, rushed to the attic to arouse his helper. But to the heavy knocks on the door,
there was no response from the inside except the steady snoring of the sleeper.
Determined to see about things, the farmer wrapped his coat about him and went out into the storm. He
hastened to the barn where the cattle and horses were kept and, to his surprise, found everything in order. Cattle
and horses were safe in their stalls. The doors and gates which he remembered in former storms had caused
considerable noise were barred securely. He went next to the hen house and found everything in order there.
The chickens were undisturbed by the storm. The doors were firmly closed, the windows were securely
fastened, and the loose piece of tin roof at the corner, which had formerly flapped in the wind, was nailed in
place. Investigating further, he went to the hayricks and found them so perfectly weighted and staked down that
the powerful blasts of wind did not affect them. Everything about the place was in perfect order. As he returned
to bed, he remembered what the sleeping young man had said the day he was employed: “I can always sleep on
a stormy night.”
These are days of terrific storms ... politically and socially, and, perhaps of most concern, storms are
battering the foundation of our families. The smouldering fires of generations past have been stirred by the
intense winds of hate which have caused conflict to spill over into our streets, our halls of government … winds
blowing with sounds of gunfire.
It can be stated affirmatively that during the storm that rages, “Everything that ain’t nailed down is
coming loose.” Such a description fits the day in which we live. Happy is the man who does his work so well
that he can “sleep on a stormy night,” for we may be sure that storms will come.
Matthew records the story of the two builders, one of whom built his house upon the sand while the
other built upon the rock. The rains came, the floods descended, and the winds beat upon both houses alike.
Storms descend upon those who are prepared for them as well as those who are not prepared. Jesus promised his
disciples no insulation against trouble.
Since we cannot avert the storms of life, the intelligent thing to do is to prepare for them–to do our work so well, to
live so connected to Jesus Christ that even amid the storms that are brewing and coming, we can sleep on a stormy night.