The Storm Within The Storm

Remember the scene in the film where Pi and Richard Parker get caught in the storm after having sailed somewhat calm seas for quite some time? Firstly, he loses everything that made him comfortable during this ordeal- his raft, his food, the water he’d painstakingly collected, the journal he’d been writing and the nub of pencil he had left- all his comforts were now stripped away. At first, he responded in awe to the might and presence of the storm, staring directly into (the face of God), cocksure he was about to die for the umpteenth time on this journey, and un-apologetically unafraid.  Then, he responded in anger, exploding in rage in the face of the injustice being meted out to him and his friend. “WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT????!!!!” He screams into the sky, demanding the universe give him an answer.

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Sometimes just when you think you’ve gotten the hang of it, just when you think, “You know what, this is not that bad!”, everything absolutely falls apart. They say things happen in three’s, but sometimes it seems like “three’s” is more like three-sets-of-three, of the “when it rains, it absolutely pours” variety. Think back to just before this scene where he is content. He’d come to terms with his situation, developed a routine, tamed the tiger, built his raft, and above all he did not give up hope. By all accounts, he hadn’t done anything to deserve what he was facing now- it is unconscionable to conceive a god who, seeing his servant already in the midst of suffering, takes away whatever he has left and hands his servant even more suffering.

And yet, so many times we experience exactly this in our daily lives. We’re already at a place where things aren’t ideal but we’ve committed our resolve to make it work- we’ve built rafts and find comfort daily rituals, just to find the strength and motivation to help us to get through whatever it is we are facing- only to have these things taken away from us too. It takes every shred of composure not to snap, not to climb the stairs of heaven, get into god’s face and ask him dead on- What, exactly, is YOUR problem???

I’ve had so many of my fist-shaking-against- the-heavens moments I’m more than sure god himself has lost count (I mean, I’ve never attempted to count the number of times my children have thrown temper tantrums, so I’m assuming the god of the universe doesn’t either!). In hindsight, I can see though that the things I used to resort to in order to make myself comfortable during the storms were akin to the way babies use pacifiers. I still do it- resorting to procrastination over action, preferring to live a cushy, small existence instead of pushing myself to go for my dreams, settling for jobs instead of pursuing a career, failing at every turn to live up to my own aspirations and to acknowledge my own self worth- these are crutches I use so I never have to stretch myself into being uncomfortable.

Whatever comfort zone I find for myself, the universe is usually quick to strip it away, to leave me raw and bawling, pushing me face first into whatever storms may come, eyes wide open. In the blink of an eye babysitters quit, relationships fail, jobs are lost, markets fail, spouses get sick and/or die and homes are lost. Just like that every single thing I counted on to support me, everything I thought I could count on to keep me steady, every single support I thought I had was gone. No childcare, no job, no apartment. I’m sure I’m not the only one.

Luckily, the universe always has bigger plans for us than we have for ourselves

You can rail against the heavens all you want but god is a good parent who rarely responds to temper tantrums. This storm will get you closer to where you need to be- to who you are. You are being pruned, stretched and molded by your storm into the person you need to be in order to fulfill your next assignment, so get ready; there’s more to come. All those things you thought you needed to get you through were actually holding you back from achieving your potential and fulfilling your destiny, that’s why they were taken away.

Whatever it is the universe has in store, know this: you CAN do this. Do not give up hope.

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I’ve decided to call this series Lessons From The Lighthouse, in homage to the imagery found in the film, Life Of Pi. These lessons have served as an inspiration to me in my personal growth and development in the past year and half, and now, I’m sharing them with you. I hope that they are instrumental in helping you find your inner ability to create miracles in your own life.

To find the entire series, click here.

Light & Love!

Above The Storm

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“Those who hope in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31 NLT).

The name Isaiah translates into “Yahweh is salvation”. It seemed that Isaiah was born at the right time just to carry this specific message. The prophet Isaiah had a special message for the nation of Israel. In the face of despair and a broken past, the message for this people was hope. In the midst of what felt like being abandoned by God, Isaiah told this people to hold on to their faith. God was about to do something different, something new, something big with their lives; He was preparing them to experience a different level of goodness and blessing. Salvation was near.

An interesting fact about eagles: they are the only birds with the ability to fly at altitudes that take them above storm clouds. God created them in such a way that they are able to see a storm ahead of them. They position themselves to where the warm air currents on the outside of the storm rise to lift them up above the approaching storm. And they soar, without much physical energy, above the storm, where they are safe doing exactly what God created them to do. You and I are created in much the same way. Job search presents storms and challenges, and while our instinct tells us we should panic or run (fight/flight?), God says He will give us strength and we will soar high on wings like eagles. When we purpose our hearts to believe in His promises and we become willing to walk in the way He would have us, we find that the challenges of life become less of a struggle.

God promises even now, as we put our faith and hope in Him, to bring us through this next phase of our lives, just the same way He has brought us through before. He will provide us with the strength required to see us through to the end. When we fully believe, our perception of events change and we are able to approach life’s storms with a calm and peace of spirit that is only found in God. In doing so, we position ourselves to experience a new life in Him, and deeper relationship, and manifold blessings…above the storm.

“You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself” Exodus 19:3-5