What a Category 5 can do
I’ve told you this story before, but as the country waits to see what Irma will do and Texas still reels from Harvey’s wallop, my thoughts are traveling back.
It was some years ago in the middle of one of the hardest times in my life. A child was self-destructing, my job had been cut by about 50%, and my husband’s income stream had dried to a trickle. Day after hellish day, I’d wake up, exhausted before feet ever touched the floor, and I’d move. One step by one step by one more tired step.
There came a day where I cried, at last, to God. And I said, “I am needing a sign. Something. For I am not only up against the brick wall; I am through the brick wall. I don’t know what I need, but You do, so please send it.” And I waited.
I waited, and I waited. Nothing, but nothing came that was big enough, out-of-the-ordinary enough to answer my heart’s question. “Are You there? Are You listening? Am I alone?”
I began to get angry (I’ll just tell you), and I remember saying to God, “You know that I am in desperate need, and You’re not doing anything. I am angry!” From heaven, only silence.
Then one Sunday, a guest speaker got up, and he taught such a beautiful lesson on eagles. He likened the eagle and its lifespan to our walk with Christ, and something within my heart quickened. I recall thinking, “I want to be an eagle Christian.” And still, heaven was quiet as I waited.
A week later on a silent Monday morning, by sheer willpower and of utter necessity, I got up. And did what, back then, I always did. I trundled up to the coffee shop to work on the next newspaper column. Only this time…
There they came. A pair of strangers. After months and months at the coffee shop, I could peg ’em. They were out-of-towners, getting their RV serviced at the local factory.
I got up, walked past their table, and it was that goofy orange purse that–
“I just love your purse,” the stranger said in a lovely, southern drawl. So I halted by their table, and for a moment, we chatted. Then all at once, she stopped. And she looked right at me and said, “I see you as an eagle. Your wings are out like this (and here, she spread her arms out), and you’re not flapping because you’re riding the thermals.”
I sat down at my table and started to write. I looked up, and she was watching me. “I’m having a vision,” she said, this stranger woman. And she told it, prophetic words raining down on dry ground.
I will not tell you everything she told me that day. I know that I wept; I knew Who was speaking, for the woman had no knowledge about my life or my suff’ring. Even now, years later, I can remember her words. And this is the part I want to share.
“When you have to wait, it can feel like God is denying and denying and denying. But He’s not. When you wait–and you press in–the blessing builds and builds and builds, and then one day, a tsunami!
“Some people go through life getting blessing, blessing, blessing. That’s because they don’t press in. But when you wait and press in…”
Before they left town, she slipped me her phone number. And in the intervening years, she has become a spiritual mother to me. It was after that encounter that she taught me even more about tsunamis (and one of you-all needs to know this).
“Did you know,” she said one day on the phone, “that before a tsunami comes, it sucks all the water out of the bay? Some people rush in and grab at the trinkets that are left there on the bottom. But the wise people head for high ground.”
The wise people head for high ground.
I can tell you that many, many times after she taught me these principles, it felt like every bit of water had been sucked out of my bay. Then there came a day when I could no longer limp along, striving and performing in the same, old way, and I was crushed. Leveled.
Leveled by a storm that brought total, complete, utter devastation. Every bone in my body, shattered.
On this side of my personal Category 5, I can tell you that April was right. For I did head for high ground. My husband went with me, and out of devastation has come healing. Rebuilding. Transforming, and treasures far greater than the trinkets we could have been contented with down in the bottom of the bay.
On this side of the storm, I am thankful. Thankful for what that tsunami, or hurricane wrought.
If this is you and it’s stormin’, take heart. Don’t settle for trinkets. Press in for the gold. Grab His hand and head for high ground. You can. He will help.
“Behold, I make all things new.” – Jesus