I played a game on my friend’s smartphone and each time I am done with a level, I quickly skip all the notifications just to get to the next level and she said to me “stop rushing it, calm down to see what you are being offered in the notifications”. The next time, I read the notification and it was power-ups that would help me complete the games faster, I collected them and the next level was a very smoother ride!
This is how it is in life, we usually miss out what those obstacles are offering us because we are in a haste, we want to escape every obstacle and get to the end as soon as possible, we want to escape the storm as soon as possible and we rather prefer a shortcut out of the mountain rather than climbing the mountain.
Growing up, R Kelly’s “storm is over” happened to be one of my favourite songs. One fine evening, after listening to the song, I started asking myself questions. Does God really intend that we live our lives without storms? Should we only desire that the storms get over? How about times when the storm is needed to push us into the path of destiny?
I remembered the story of Jonah. God has asked him to go to Nineveh and preach to them but he had his own mind, he wanted to do his own stuff. He felt he had his own way to play God and get away with it but the destiny of the entire nation was resting on his own shoulders. He knew this, he knew Nineveh would be saved if he speak God’s word to them but he didn’t like Nineveh and only wanted them to perish. Oh well, it took the storm to get him back on track.
We usually want to hurry out of the storm, there are lots of promising verses in the Bible with which we can comfort ourselves and tell ourselves “this too shall pass” but we do not pay attention to hear what the storm is saying. While there are times you may need to tell the storm “be still”, there are times you need to be still and listen to the storm.
Paul is a classic example here. Have you asked yourself how Christianity got to Malta? It came by the storm! Paul had a mission thwarted after a shipwreck, he got himself in Malta and the gospel came to them. What if I tell you that there are beauties in the storm? They can be gateways to destiny.
Don’t get me wrong, God wouldn’t harm anyone, God wouldn’t bring harm or challenges your way but will always use challenges that come your way to make you stronger. Even the Devil serves the purpose of God without knowing it. Haven’t you read in your Bible that all things work for good to them who love God?
You aren’t meant to move every mountain, you aren’t meant to ask every mountain to melt so you can pass. Sometimes, you are meant to climb these mountains, to exercise your spiritual muscles and grow into maturity. Some mountains are meant to make you exercise your wings and learn how to fly.
Devil usually uses shortcuts to tempt people. He was offering Jesus shortcut ideas, shortcut out of hunger, shortcut out of the hill but Jesus wasn’t taking any of it.
There are mountains that are your steps to greatness. What happens when you climb a mountain? You find yourself on top! The more you climb, while strenuous, the more you get closer to the top!
Some treasures you seek are hidden on top of the mountain, some disciplines you seek may need the training of the storm. You serve a great God, the God of the good and bad times! Because God is greater than your storms, you need not panic. You have to stay in absolute peace and stillness before you can command the storm to stay in peace and be still. You have to stand strong to climb the mountains.
What are those mountains in your life? Perhaps you just lost your job? Are you complaining or are you preparing? Are you drinking away your sorrow or are you meditating on them to know what God is saying to you through them? Some of us needed to lose a job to get a job. Some of us needed to lose a relationship to be connected to our destiny helpers! Some of us needed to get no for an answer so we can truly seek and find the right answer.
It is usually in our haste to get out of the storm or find a shortcut to get past the mountain that we miss it. Yes, there are many times the storm or the mountain is designed to stop you from reaching your goals but of all those times, God uses them as building blocks for you! The enemy keeps throwing stones at you and God keeps building you with it. Wasn’t this how Joseph made it to the throne in a foreign land? Wasn’t this how Jesus made it to glory having subdued death on the cross?
If only you can allow that short moment of sacrifice, if only you can trust the God of the storm and face the storm squarely, if only you can determine to climb that mountain. The Bible says
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28 NIV
I saw another meaning to the above verse in the NIV footnote and it made a lot of sense, it is so comforting. Let’s see it: “in all things, God works together with those who love him to bring about what is Good.” Do you see that? In the face of that storm, mountain, failure and rejection, God is in partnership with you, working together with you to bring about what is good out of what may have seemed bad!
The Psalmist understood this when he wrote “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”—Psalm 23:4
Sometimes, God prepares our table right after the valley of Shadows of death, the enemy knows where we are headed and therefore tries to put obstacles, they are mere shadows! But when we know our God, we shall do exploit, we won’t be pertubed by the turbulence of the day or night.
Go and succeed!