Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Through The Storm. ( Previously Published On Bella Naija)

Picture this: You, in the company of a few friends have decided to take a boat trip. Halfway to your destination, you encounter a storm. The winds are heavy and the waves come lashing at your boat, daring it to withstand their fury. Initially, you are afraid but not so much. Why? Because you reckon it will pass as quickly as it came. But boy, were you wrong! Thunder claps heavily and the storm gets heavier, tilting your boat from side to side. When earlier on, you observed the wind and tried to take cover, now you know if this storm continues, you will sink. You had been the one re-assuring the others that you will all be just fine, that the storm will pass, now even you are beginning to show signs of fear. Indeed you have exhausted all the tricks and methods of survival you know of and yet nowhere in sight is there any sign of dry land. At this point, no one is smiling. Tensions are high and you start blaming each other, fighting and cursing each other out, some of your mates start to cry, asking God if really this is where and how their lives will end. But all of that does not stop the raging of the storm; it's force is heavy and dark clouds hang over you, damage begins to show on your boat and you can tell you are about to start sinking. You want to run, but there is no where to run to. You'd like to hide, but where?

At times our lives and all it's associated issues can be just like that boat thrown and tossed about in the storm. You start out strong, relying on your faith to see you through. You think and speak positive, taking healthy and bold steps forward believing and indeed, hoping for the best. When the first few waves come lashing, you show remarkable strength and calm and hold on to the knowledge that it will soon pass, heck, you probably even laughed it off! You probably find yourself in the storm in the company of people close to you and they are looking up to you to take them through and so you take it upon yourself to be strong, to re-assure them, to give them hope, to speak calm, to be strong. But the storm only gets stronger, going as it seems from bad to worse. Just when you think you have successfully dodged a wave, there comes thunder and lightning, followed by an even greater wave. Just when you overcome the lashing of the wind, there appear sharks swimming under water, ready to attack and rip you into pieces. You feel so vulnerable, open as it were to attack from different angles. Your thoughts are running riot and what was initial calm on your part has turned to worry, panic and outright fear. You look to the right and to the left and there is no help in sight, to the skies and it is dark, with no promise or glimmer of hope, no one to hold on to support. You have considered giving up, but you are quick to dismiss the thought. You want to forge ahead but you are tired and lack the needed will power. For every step you muster up the strength to take forward, you seem to take four backwards............

Hold on!

The greatest sailors were the ones that weathered storms. Great storms. They were ordinary men who took on extra- ordinary challenges and vowed and did all they could to rise above it. They knew one thing for sure, that you cannot stop a storm once it starts; it will only pass when it is ready to, when it's rage, anger and fury has subsided, so it would be useless to try and fight it or to waste your energy cursing, crying or blaming your crew members or God. They knew also, that

You stay strong in a storm.

You hold on in a storm.

You fortify yourself in a storm.

You create a support system in a storm.

And you think, act and speak purposely in a storm.

They know nothing can completely prepare you for a storm, they never know the extent to which it can go or it's enormity, but they know it will surely come. And it will surely pass. Whether it takes them along with it, was up to one Higher than them and to them.

Truth is, we all will face challenges. We all will weather one storm or the other in our lifetime. For some, it will come early, for others much later in. Some of us will face three, four storms, some one major, earth shattering, faith-defying one. But one thing is sure, it will pass. It will rage, it will toss you about, it will rain, it will cast dark clouds of darkness, lightning will strike, thunder will roar, but one beautiful guaranteed day will dawn when you will look up and the sun will smile back at you......again. If this meets you in the midst of a threatening and scary storm of life and it looks like it will swallow you up, I will like to assure you that it will not. It will pass, and soon too. All you have to do is hold on. Find strength and understand that it is a phase and will not last forever. Keep your boat afloat and keep it moving. Picture the sun out for you in all it's glory and hang on to that dream even if what you can see now are the dark clouds. For if what you see is not what you saw, then what you see can only be temporary! Yes, you will ride the storms and coast on the waves to your glory. Yes, you will come out of it stronger and better than ever. It will not kill you, it will only strengthen you and build your faith in God and in yourself. But best of all, you will come out of it greater, wiser and full of confidence, never again to be scared of or scarred by just any storm.

For this too will surely pass.

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