It has been said that, when a storm is approaching, an eagle will fly into it, spread its wings, and allow the winds to carry it safely above the clouds.
Unlike many other animals that would run from the storm in fear, the eagle understands the benefits of embracing it.
To celebrate the past Valentine’s Day, my husband and I planned a getaway weekend to southern California. Neither one of us had been, so we thought it would be fun to escape the cold, wet weather of eastern Arkansas and grab some surf and sand on the coast.
We scheduled a whale watching tour in San Diego, and I planned a day long itinerary in Los Angeles.
During the week leading up to our trip, we received disappointing news: it was going to rain the entire weekend.
Not only rain, but the southern Californian coast was expecting the worst winter storm it had experienced in decades. The meteorologists named the storm Lucifer, yes Lucifer. I knew God had to have a sense of humor.
My friends in LA called to tell me I should cancel my whale watching tour and get a refund; no boats would be leaving the shore. We called the resort where we would be staying, and the woman at the front desk confirmed the reports, encouraging us to abandon our plans to see LA altogether, and head straight to the hotel.
When I went online to check-in to our flight, I received a notice directing me to choose a different departure time at no cost, because of the looming threat. I considered these other options. I wondered if we should just cancel the trip entirely. Were our lives at risk? Was the trip worth it at all? Negative reports poured in. My husband and I talked about it and decided to sleep on it.
That night, I had a horrible dream about the storm, and woke up more anxious and scared than when I laid down.
I remembered one of my life’s maxims: “Never make a decision rooted in fear.” And that’s when I realized what I needed to do.
I dropped to my knees and began to pray.
I asked God to speak to the wind and the rain. I prayed that God would protect us. I prayed for His will to be done in our lives. I prayed that I would trust Him even in the midst of the storm and declared that the reports I was hearing would not be the reports I would believe.
Once I finished my prayer, I left my anxieties at the altar I built on the side of my bed.
While sitting in the departure lounge waiting to board our plane, a headline flashed across the television screen during the weather segment: “Winter storm threat much less severe than previously thought.”
In that moment was revelation; I was never afraid of the storm. What I had been afraid of was the threat of a storm.
I had not been in the storm; I had not even seen it. It was the reports that had ignited fear. The reports of Man.
How many times do we allow another people’s fear to become our fear? How often do we exaggerate events in our mind and allow our own conjured anxieties to cause us to abort the plans of God?
How often do we abandon our purpose out of fear of what the outcome may be?
A smile broke out across my face. I felt as if God had sent a message directly to me. His answer to my prayer catapulted me to another dimension of faith.
This journey that we are on will carry us into many storms, but that day I heard God say, “Have no fear.” On that day, I was reminded that no storm, not even one orchestrated by Satan himself, was too much for my God. I was reminded that I can face any storm boldly with the confidence that God is always with me.
I was also reminded that the storms of life are always worse in our minds than they are in our lives.
And when any storm comes in contact with the Son, it has no choice but to produce a rainbow, a promise that He is El Roi, “the God that sees me”.
Most of all, I was reminded that no matter how intimidating the storm may seem, it is purposed in my life to provide the wind I need to elevate me to higher heights in Him.
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