TOMORROW'S FORECAST CALLS FOR BLUE SKIES
Hurricane season is upon us and it brings with torrential rain and destructive winds. I experienced my first Hurricane as a child in Trinidad. From a child’s point of view, it was scary beyond, anything I’d ever imagined. The roaring winds shook my grandmothers house, rattling every windowpane and floor board. I remembered my mother holding me tight in her arms, as we both held on to one another, till the storm passed. In the midst of any storm, worry, dread, fear and doubt consumes us as the roaring wind rips apart homes and shakes us deep in our core. How can we even think about the next day, when we’re not sure we will survive the eye of the storm? Preparing for storms to hit, gives us a little comfort knowing we can face anything the storms brings. However, lack of preparation leads us to an even deeper deluge than what we left behind. Imagine all the people who were warned of the oncoming storm that day, but no one took heed. It left many without homes and many lives lost. As with life’s every day storms, preparation is important if you want to survive.
Apostle Paul is a perfect example of someone who experienced his fair share of life’s storms, both literally and figuratively. Originally named Saul, as a Jew, he persecuted anyone following the Christian faith. However one day, Father God appeared to him and said, “Saul! Saul! Why are you prosecuting me?” Acts 9:4. When Father God appeared to Saul, He took away his sight for three days and sent a messenger to relate to Saul his instructions. “Go, for Saul is my chosen instrument to take my message to the Gentiles and to kings, as well as to the people of Israel. And I will show him how much he must suffer for my name’s sake.” Acts 9: 15-16. When Father God sends a prophecy, BE PREPARED, because it will not be a cake walk. Later on we see Paul indeed fulfilling God’s prophecy of suffering for His name, as he endures a few treacherous storms on the high seas, which he and the boats crew miraculously survived. Along with his numerous stints in jail for spreading the Gospel. Then there’s the verbal persecution, stoning, beaten near death, bitten by a poisonous snake, all for the sake of following Father God. Each storm Paul battled, and storm meaning all of life’s tumultuous blips, left him cleaving closer to Father God. He never ran away from the storms, instead he ran to them because it’s the place he knew he would find many souls desperately needing shelter and safety. In doing so, his preaching of the gospel became more and more powerful. Again, when we choose to do the right things in our lives, even when we’re beaten, betrayed, humiliated and persecuted, it’s when our strength and power becomes even mightier than any storm circulating around us.
Apostle Paul leaned on Father God during adversity, which prepared him to receive His provisions and favor. A physical storm can indeed cause a multitude of destruction, but our inner storms can wreak havoc on our spirituality, leaving us blind to the light before us. Paul was blind for three days, before his vision returned. It was only then did he truly obey Father God and take the path He set before him. How many of us are wallowing in the storm, blind and deaf to Father God’s guidance? I know I was for a while, all culminating to a storm that left me shipwrecked. I was hungry and thirsty for food and water. Yet, like Paul, during the storms, my faith grew deeper in Christ. His promises sustained me. I wondered why did I face these storms? The question of why, turned into why not. He used my storms and yours, to strengthen us, so we come out even better than before. We were once blind, but yet, we are now able to see everything in a clearer perspective, through the eyes of Christ. Many times I’ve asked God to get rid of every pain and hurt, but there I remained, enduring the eye of the storm. It was a those times, I grew in my faith. “…and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 11:26. Giving it all to God, invites His peace and tranquillity, even when the storms raging outside. Paul, also a brilliant writer, penned 13 books in the New Testament and did so with a happy, joyful heart, lovingly reaching out to the those in the church. What a paradox he faced that in hardships, he can laugh in the face of adversity. It’s as if Paul remained prepared each and every day for sudden storms. Therefore, why shouldn’t we? We prepare ourselves for hurricanes and blizzards. We reinforce our windows, replace batteries in flashlights, gas up generators and stock pile groceries, but what happens when our spiritual life become dogged up by life’s storms? We aren’t so prepared to save ourselves when our mental state become flooded with thoughts and emotions rivaling any Nor’easter. We can’t leave ourselves exposed to these elements that can shake the very foundation we built, by allowing the enemy to storm through. Preparation is key to facing these storms. We must surrender our fears, doubts, and worries to Father God, because He’s the only one that will get us to dry land. Praying to Him and laying it all on the line doesn’t make us weak, it sets us apart from those who do everything on their own and reach no where very fast. Admitting to Father God that weathering the storms alone and seeking His direction leaves us open to His great mantle of protection. So with each storm we face, we can do so confidently with a joyful heart, knowing blue skies await on dry land.
Shout out to www.hdw.eweb4.com for the lovely wallpaper. It's pretty now, but I could only imagine what it's like when a storm hits!