This past Sunday I watched a broadcast of Joel Olsteen that was entitled “God Is In Control of the Storm” and it spoke to my heart and to our journey. During the message he spoke to the times in your life when things are going in your favor, and how you can say with great assurance that God is in control. The waters of life are calm and you are in good spirits. It’s during these times that it is important to give thanks and praise God for the blessings you have received, but what happens when things are not going your way? When the winds pick-up and the waters of life become choppy and unruly.
The radio message from David Jeremiah yesterday was centered around the message of Faith? Both David and Joel would agree that having strong faith does not exempt us from experiencing “storms” in our lives. Through my weekly Bible reading, I have already discovered multiple times that people who were in God’s favor had their faith tested. Take Job for example, who ranked highly on God’s list, yet lost his family, his health, and all of his material possessions. It is these times that it takes faith, to believe that God is still in control. There is an interesting song on the top of Christian charts right now by New Song, entitled “The Same God” that correlates beautifully with Joel’s message. Part of it’s lyrics read “There was a day when your faith couldn’t be held down; God was near enough to every word; But somehow you wish he heard you right now; Don’t you know [Chorus] The same God who was with you then, is with you now“.
It is easy to think during life’s struggles, God—How could you let this happen to me? but what Joel’s message speaks to is that God will not allow a storm in your life unless he has a divine purpose for it. If the struggle that your facing would prevent you from reaching your destiny in life, God would not have permitted it to happen, but He is instead using it to take you from point A to point B in your life’s plan. He makes a very powerful statement about tough times in our life. He says “instead of using our faith to pray away the problem, we should use our faith to believe that when the problem is gone we will be exactly where God wants us to be“.
I find it interesting when God places things in front of us as examples that he will use later on to teach us something. I was blessed enough during our latest trip to Tioga, PA to check off an item from my bucket list. In the center of what is known as Dead Man’s Hollow was a majestic Bald Eagle flying through the wind and the snow. I had always wanted to see one of these in nature and not cramped up in some stuffy zoo. Following him through my binoculars I was amazed at how graceful and powerful he appeared given his present surroundings. During the message Joel referred to the bald eagle as an example of faith. He said that when eagle flies into a storm, he doesn’t try to fight his way into the winds and the rain, but instead stretches out his wings and rises above the storm using the wind to his advantage. When the winds are against you, its easy to get frustrated and struggle trying to make things work your way, but instead be an eagle, say “God I’m done struggling, I trust you“. You will find that with the realization that God is in control, the winds that were meant to push you down will lift you up and you’ll rise above.
I can tell you from personal experience that this is true. Two years ago when the waters became choppy and the winds began to blow and we discovered that we couldn’t have children naturally I often wondered “Why was this happening?” at first I became bitter and discouraged, feeling lost. We leaned heavily on God through the process of IVF, but it wasn’t until our second round that things began to click inside. I began to relinquish control of what we wanted so badly and my prayers shifted to having faith in what God wanted for our lives. It was the very moment that we let go of the reins and allowed God to take control, that the winds began to shift. We went from having the winds in our face, to the winds at our back.
It was several years ago in Margate, NJ that Heidi and I ran a 10-miler in the middle of 60+ winds and rain…another literal example that God provided in my life. Running from Margate toward Atlantic City was a struggle, sometimes pushing us backwards and requiring all of our focus and strength to power through; however the amazing part of the race came on our return back to the finish line. With the wind to our backs we ran 2 minutes faster per mile and with much less effort. How powerful it felt to have the winds on our back pushing us forward towards our goal.
Near the end of Olsteen’s message he provided a quote that I really enjoyed. He said “Let your test, become your testimony“. He spoke to this saying that God is truly in control. He can move mountains, repair relationships, heal disease, he even brought people back from the dead among many other things. If this is truly your faith that God has this power, don’t you then have to trust that he can lead through the storm? He says that if you are going from point A to point B along what is your destiny, and you hit a bump in your road. God has the ultimate power to shift the winds and you would have an excellent testimony to share with others, but imagine the testimony you would have if he leads you through the winds to the other side.
I have for a very long time felt that Heidi and I will have an amazing testimony to share with others when we reach point B, and I look forward everyday to sharing the story with our child and with so many others of how God walked beside us through our journey and at times carried us when we grew weary. Sirius XM The Message always provides interesting quotes throughout its broadcast and I will end with one of Heidi and I’s favorites “God won’t protect you from things that perfect you“. I pray that whatever storms may be in your life, that you will allow God to take control and shift the winds in your life. You will find when this happens you will be propelled forward and find yourself amazed at how you race towards your destiny.