Gilland: Weathering life’s storms


I attended the annual convention of the National Religious Broadcasters this past week, better known as “The NRB.” Over 4,000 attendees gathered from our nation and around the world to learn and grow from each other, and to become better equipped for this thing we all call “broadcasting.”

There were seminars and main sessions galore, plus one of the bigger expo floors in all of Christian media. Many well-known ministries were there to meet with the station managers who carry their weekly programs on radio, TV and podcasts.

Gov. Ron DeSantis opened up the convention with personal stories of his children’s baptisms, and the freedoms we enjoy in what he calls “the great free state of Florida.” The governor’s remarks came just two days before his official announcement of his candidacy for president in the 2024 election.

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One of the most impactful moments that I experienced personally came in that same night’s keynote address, brought by Franklin Graham, son of the late evangelist Billy Graham and founder and president of Samaritan’s Purse, an international relief ministry.

Photo by Mike Gilland Franklin Graham

Graham’s message was a bit of a warning to attendees and to believers in general. He spoke of a coming storm, not a literal weather event…but a cultural experience that he sees coming on those who are about the furtherance of the gospel of Jesus. The impact from this coming storm on our world will bring hardship and difficulties for all of us, but especially on Christians, ministries, and churches. 

His words were spoken in a serious tone, but not without hope. In fact, believers have the only true hope in the world, and that is in Jesus. 

Still, he emphatically called on those present to realize the seriousness of America’s cultural climate, saying that we need to get ready, to prepare for the coming winds. Drawing from the biblical story of the disciples and Jesus being in a boat on the Sea of Galilee during a fierce storm, Graham believes that we will see the coming tempest impact our lives in areas like our personal data, banking freedoms and the ability to insure our possessions, just to name a few.

I am coming up on another anniversary of a storm of a different kind. About three years ago I wrote about the most powerful storm that I have ever experienced

During that most amazing storm, we survived not one but as many as nine different tornadoes where I lived in Indiana. The storm left our city looking like a war zone. But God’s faithfulness brought us through it. 

And regardless of how strong the winds of change may be blowing today, we can always call out to Jesus. He alone has the power to speak to the winds and waves, saying “Peace, be still.”

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