Emotional Growth Through the Storms

Storms in the nightThe following article was written in 1997 or 1998. Little did I know that what I thought was hard times back then, was just a primer for emotional intelligence … because the worse was yet to come.

We often think that what we’re going through at the time is the worse we’ve ever seen. Sometimes it actually is. The mistaken belief is that once we ‘get over this hump’ times will be good and we’ll never “have to go through that again.”

The truth is – there will always be ups and downs. The goal is not to ‘get through’ the current storm and Shangri-la will be waiting for you on the other side. No, life is every flowing, ever heaving with good and with bad. Our journey is to learn how to make better choices, give gratitude in all things and seek wisdom.

Footstool of the Heavens

There was a period in my life when I would wonder each day if I could possibly make it through another week. Life at that time was a harvest of bad decisions I had already sown. Sorrowfully I was gathering in the decayed wheat of a rebellious time and thought I had come to the end of all that life would ever offer me.

 During this time, when things became more unbearable than I thought any human could live through, I would flee into the night to a nearby field or parking lot.  Once I reached the center of the field, as far away as I could get from humanity, I would plant my feet firmly in the soil or concrete and throwing my face upwards cry out “Why God?” All my anger would rush out and spill into the night air in a torrent of self-pity and bitterness. On and on I would vent my pent up emotions, pacing back and forth waving my arms and clenching my fists in agony.

 Once my emotional outburst faded on the breeze I would stand spent, listening to the crickets in the distance or the cars passing by on near by streets.  Silence.  The universe above and beyond, I in the center insignificantly small.  This became a habit of mine, fleeing into the night to save my sanity.  The more I did, the more precious these times became.  Many a day passed when I eagerly anticipated the setting of the sun so that I could once again throw myself into the heavenly expanse of solitude I so desperately sought.  This was God’s footstool.  The stars above shouting out His majesty, His greatness, His omnipotence, His limitless power.

 As I would stand, night after night, I found simple and profound answers that would effect my life even today. Repentance would follow as I saw the errors of my own way.  Before I knew it those times became precious times of intimate worship and praise. 

 Time has passed.  I’ve matured and been blessed above and beyond anything I could ever think or imagine.  Yesterday while taking a shower I had some flashbacks of those nights, and felt a twinge of regret.  Regret in that now things were not so nightmarish, that I seemed to so easily NOT find the time to spend with the King of kings and Lord of lords.  How easy it is to run to God when things are bad.  How much easier to lose hold of our Life-giver when the water is smooth and there is no need for a Lifesaver.  Perhaps trials come into our lives to bring us to His footstool in order to discover who He REALLY is.  Don’t wait until you are drowning in despair to cry out for the Lifesaver.  Embrace the Life-giver, sit at His feet, let Him speak mysteries to you, and direct your paths. There is so much more that needs to be done.

 

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