As much as we adore smooth waters, an Arab proverb states that smooth waters do not make skillful sailors. In this voyage called life, the question is not, “Will storms arise?” instead, the question is, “When will the next storm arise?” And even more imperative than that question is, “What type of person will I be when the next storm arises?
“The strongest oak of the forest is not the one that is protected from the storm and hidden from the sun. It’s the one that stands in the open where it is compelled to struggle for its existence against the winds and rains and the scorching sun.” -Napoleon Hill (1883-1970)
Life is filled with storms of one kind or another. In the middle of those storms, we tend to respond as if God has one way or another been caught off guard. The storm makes no sense. We can’t explain why fatal illness strikes godly people. We don’t comprehend how our strongest friends can become our fiercest critics. The torment of a broken marriage or the devastating catastrophe of a reckless child drives us to doubt God’s purpose, plan and provision. The terror of financial ruin paralyzes us. God understands.
Initiative is the capability to take charge of problems, instead of being inundated by them. You must learn that if you are ever going to live long and with importance in this world, you are going to have to accept and cuddle difficulty as a challenge and opportunity, rather than something to be inundated by. The bigger your dreams and goals, the more hardship you can expect.
Everybody faces challenges and hardships at different points in their lives, but the significant thing is to persist to trust God in the center of those storms. What seems terrible to us is nothing for the Lord, as he starts with the impossible. He has given us his word to encourage us during those trials as well. “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:57
God is constantly calling us to follow him — in the good times and in the rough times. He has also given us his word to support and motivate us when the road gets hard. Like Paul wrote in Colossians 1:11, “May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy.” So even when we face the storms in our lives, God will always fortify us and give us the stamina and patience with joy that we need.
No matter what storm rages in your life today – no matter how ferocious the winds or how high the waves may be – where you are is no surprise to God. Heaven is not in a panic. Keep your gaze on Him and your glimpse on the violent waters. Bind yourself to Him, and He will provide all you need to stand firm in the storm.