Living in Houston I’ve experienced a few storms. In 2004 when we first moved here from California first came Hurricane Katrina, which just missed us then next came Hurricane Rita which was headed straight for us. There are some interesting dynamics to a hurricane. It can cover a large mass of land and sea, very overwhelming. When it hits the wind and rain are so strong that debris is flying everywhere, the rain feels like getting hit with pellets, and it’s tough to see your way out of it because it seems it just keeps on coming.
Life with a special needs child can feel like a hurricane. I remember a week before I moved to Houston my father who was only 59 years old had a massive heart attack and passed away. The moving vans were already packed up and gone to move us from California to Houston and all of a sudden I lost one of my heroes. He passed on a Monday, we did his funeral on a Friday, and I did my farewell at the church we were at on Saturday and Sunday, which happened to be fathers day weekend. Then on Monday my family left for Houston. Six months after arriving in Houston we begin noticing changes in our son and found out not to long after, he was diagnosed with Autism. It was like Hurricane Katrina hit first, and then right after that came Hurricane Rita.
We were overwhelmed. It seemed like a large mass of overwhelming thoughts and feelings. The wind of our storms were raging and pelting us with one challenge after another. The debris of our lives were everywhere and we didn’t feel like we could see a way out. Have you been there?
God doesn’t always deliver us from the storm. There may be one battle after another. For us, God could have given us the victory for our son the first day we prayed. He is God. But his ways are not always our ways. He may have a bigger plan. During that time my wife and I learned to trust God unlike ever before. I heard someone say, some things you can only learn in the storm, when the battles raging, when you don’t know how your going to make it, that’s when you will experience the faithfulness of God like you’ve never experienced it before.
One of the ways my pastor taught us when we were going through the storm is to be good to someone else when your going through your storm. It takes your mind off your storm and it brings an understanding that this storm was not meant to destroy you it was meant to take you and others higher even in the midst of your storm. So we begin to help others in the midst of our storm and God has used us to help others go higher than what they could have done on their own. It’s become our life’s work, our mission in life. Sometimes you will get your calling early but you may not receive your mission in life until later. It’s usually when God breaks us or breaks us over something. You thought this storm was meant to take you down but God was using it to help you and others fly higher. Isaiah 40:29-31 says, He gives power to the weak
and strength to the powerless.
Even youths will become weak and tired,
and young men will fall in exhaustion.
But those who trust 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.
I’ve heard it said, when everything comes against you remember airplanes take off against the wind, not with the wind. The winds of your storm were never meant to push you down, they were meant to lift you to a higher level of your destiny. When an eagle faces a storm he doesn’t try to fight his way through the wind, through the rain, frustrated, struggling, putting forth all this effort. No, he simply stretches out his wings and he lets the strong winds lift him higher and higher. Finally he rises above the storm where it’s as calm and peaceful as it can be.
When the winds are blowing, things are coming against us, it’s easy to get frustrated, start fighting the winds, trying to change things that we were never meant to change…worried about the diagnosis, can’t sleep at night, anxiety, & fear. No, be an eagle…say, God, I’ve done all I can, it’s yours now. I’m going to try to quit struggling, I’m going to quit trying to make it happen my way, God, I’m going to trust you and help someone else even in the midst of my storm. Not only will you rise above the storm, you’ll carry others on your wings and teach them to fly higher than they’ve ever been before.
Craig Johnson with excerpts written by Joel Osteen