Grab Your Umbrella!
Here in Northern California, we've been experiencing inclement weather. One day it may be warm, then hot. Then without warning, it's back to wintery storms. Take this weekend for example: Saturday, the sun was shining and some people had on tank tops and flip flops. Then Sunday, it rained and we were back to coats and rainboots. Today, it is a mix of two extremes: one minute the sun is shining and it's raining the next.
If you've roamed these WHOAment streets for any length of time, you know that I'll take the warmer, sunshiney weather over clouds and rain any day. I seem to flourish when it's sunny: I feel more productive, my mood is cheerful, I drink more water and can hear the birds chirping louder than usual. Life is good! On the flip side, I am learning to appreciate, embrace and tolerate the rain because I know it is important for growth, harvests and change. Maybe one day I will look forward to the rain as much as I do with the sun. Maybe. Baby steps...
When I woke up this morning, the sun was shining and I was determined that after taking the girls to school, I would go for a walk. While I was driving home, I noticed the skies were turning a bit more gray, but my mind was made up. I was going for my walk!
But by the time I got home and parked the car, the skies were much, much darker and rain was a matter of minutes -- if not seconds -- away. At that moment, I had an internal struggle going on and so many thoughts filled my head:
"I am learning to embrace the rain, but I don't "like" being in it."
"Maybe I will just cancel and try again tomorrow....But then I'll feel frumpy all day."
"What if all the wildlife decide to come out because it is raining? I'm afraid of racoons and coyotes!"
"What if I catch a cold because I'm out walking in the rain?! I didn't sign up for that!"
In that moment, I was so focused on all the things that could happen if I decided to walk while it was raining. I lost focus of my goal: WALKING. Because of my dislike for rain, I allowed my thoughts to be overtaken by concerns.
AND IT WASN'T EVEN RAINING YET!
I went to the door again and looked outside. Rain was inevitable. But then I began to encourage myself:
"TC, it's only water, girl!"
"Don't be a punk! Grab your umbrella and get to walking!"
"You can reward yourself with a hot shower afterwards."
"It doesn't have to be a long walk. Just get out there and move, girl!"
Friend! As soon as I walked outside, it started raining. HARD. Just like I said it would! I tell you (and myself) all the time: our words are powerful! In highsight, I realize that I could have used my dominion authority and power to speak to the weather, telling it to hold off until I got back home. But nope. I didn't because I was focused on other things.
However, I was prepared for the rain because I had on a thermal shirt and a hooded sweatshirt and I carried my oversized umbrella. I headed down the street and about ten minutes in, the downpour fizzled to a light sprinkle. Praise God! By the end of my walk, my umbrella was dripping and the bottom of my shoes were wet, but I wasn't! Because I saw the rain differently, my focus changed. Because my focus changed, so did my actions. I walked with determination that I would reach my goal. And I did. My walk was successful!
(But I could have done that in the beginning and saved myself time and agony. I'll learn.)
This experience reminded me of when Jesus and His disciples were caught in a storm together (Mark 4:35-40). Although they experienced the same storm, the disciples saw it differently than Jesus. The disciples panicked and tripped because they were wrapped up in the "what ifs". What if they died? What if the boat was overturned? Their lack of faith caused fear to overtake them. Jesus, on the other hand, experienced that storm differently. In fact, although the storm was raging around them, He was unphased. In fact, He was napping. I truly believe that when He told the winds and the waves to calm, He did so only to appease His disciples. He had already declared they would all make it to the other side and He wasn't letting a storm or any other condition get in the way of that happening.
When storms and situations arise in our lives, we have the option of seeing them from two vantage points: fear or faith. While fear points out all the "what if's" and why we can't, faith says "so what".
You see, God said storms (less than ideal situations and challenges) will come, but in Him, we will always make it through! It's up to us to prepare for them by grabbing our gear: His Word and our faith that He will bring His Word to past. Once we open His Word and apply it over our situations, His promises cover and protect us from their effects. The storm won't stop. But we aren't overtaken by them. We are triumphant! We win!
Today, I challenge us to see our circumstances the way God does. He says we will get through them. He says we will make it to the other side! Let's declare and prepare for our success and victory!
If you enjoyed reading this WHOAment, you may also like "Focus Your Focus".
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