I want to share something with you that I found inspiring, and I hope it doesn’t sound preachy. The author of a book I’m editing tells a story about how when a storm comes, chickens flap their wings and run around in circles. Eagles are different. They sit on a rock and wait, and when the storm arrives they rise up to catch the wind and use the storm to soar higher into the air than they could normally go. Isn’t that how we all hope to react to the storms in our lives?
I tend to get nervous in the face of a coming storm, but also excited. Something in me recognizes an opportunity in upheaval; the trick is to time my actions just right to take advantage of upheaval instead of being uprooted by it. It’s tough to know how to do that, or if I’ve done it right even after the storm has passed. I do believe that if we keep an ear open for God’s voice of wisdom, though, we have a chance to react like eagles to tough times.
I have a habit of panicking in situations like this; taking matters into my own hands. But last year, I think I actually handled a storm like an eagle. The month before I was laid off from my last full-time job, I had three dreams about tornados in quick succession, and I knew something was up. I always dream of tornados before big upheaval in my life; they represent the winds of change to me–hence my interest in this metaphor of eagles rising on the winds of a storm. These particular tornado dreams dealt with my workplace and my family life and seemed to be warning me that a big change was coming in my work that would make a lot of noise, but that it wouldn’t do any damage to my personal life, that my family would be completely untouched by it. That couldn’t be more true, as it turns out.
Now, of course business was bad enough in the company I worked for that I had expected things to go sour long before they did and wasn’t at all surprised that things ended the way they did, but there was some inside information in the dreams that really encouraged me (even made me laugh!) that God was in control and I didn’t have to worry. For once–FOR ONCE!–I listened, and saved myself a lot of worry. Learning to listen to God’s direction can be as simple as paying attention when a small voice in your spirit warns you to do something (or often not to do something) that you wouldn’t otherwise have done, and that advice lines up with Scripture and the character of God, or it can be more involved–after all, communicating with God is all about relationship. But it’s so worth it, even if there are no clear road signs to show you the way.
I hope that was encouraging to you to pursue a relationship with God and to approach the storms in your life as opportunities instead of disasters, and didn’t sound too preachy. Blessings!