Have you ever been engulfed in a storm and thought “Oh no! I need to get outta here or else….”?
I was once caught in a merciless rain and hail storm that managed to scare the living daylights out of me. This happened while I was driving between Mumbai and Pune and I was on a sloping and curvy part of the expressway and while it started pouring all of a sudden without any prior warning. Although I wasn’t fazed a bit but then it soon turned into a hail storm and they were like a million pellets of hail storming down from the skies and I just couldn’t drive anymore. I stopped over by the hard shoulder and just waited and waited. There weren’t many vehicles on the expressway and it kinda felt lonely. Vision was terribly impacted and that was my concern, I could barely see a couple of feet ahead of me and that’s it, just enveloped in a fuzzy and blurry storm with my hazard lights on, the sound of the hail bombarding the roof of my car was getting annoying by the minute. A good fifteen minutes had passed waiting, it was evening and I knew it would turn dark before half my journey and I so wanted to reach home before dark.
Well we began praying and soon enough the hail lessened and we could start moving, as we drove on, we could see a couple of accidents taken place ahead and still more much further ahead. We were thankful to God for the protection we enjoyed. That was a small lesson God taught us that day in learning to trust God and be still in Him when around us there wasn’t any sign of calmness. I had learnt that in the midst of a storm there is a place which is calm and peaceful, that was the place Jesus was when He was sleeping in the boat with his disciples while they were experiencing this storm. This place is the ‘Eye of the storm’.
A couple of years later, I was to face a similar test but at a much larger scale. I mean I can’t even make comparisons between the two. But this little incident on the expressway taught me to trust God no matter what you see around you. This next test was at my workplace where I was handling a project for one of the 5 largest banks in the world. Well apparently the project was handed over to me because the person in charge of it had left the organization. This project was sort of in the midst of a crisis and required tremendous patience and perseverance and a lot of other things. I was new to the environment and there was tremendous pressure on me not only from the top management of my organization but apparently I was told that this bank was impacting one of the top 5 economies of the world in a negative way, and that they had to tighten up the screws or else face harsh penalties. To make matters worse, in addition to this project I had 3 other projects I was handling, which meant I was now responsible for 4 projects. I was the only person who had the technical skills to handle this project therefore my company literally pleaded me to take this up as a challenge. I have always loved challenges and this was one that I would have never let it pass by, but it was a huge risk for me and I knew I would have a long stressful period in front of me. This was the time in my walk with the Lord when I had just began trusting Him.
I remember working for about 80-90 hours per week and sleeping for 40-45 hours per week, sometimes working the whole month without a break. This project needed someone who had the courage to take this through and also at the same time to support, guide and encourage the team to achieve their goals. Frankly I was afraid of the sheer scale of this work and had it not been for the things the Lord had taught me by then, I would have given up a long time ago or rather I would never had accepted this challenge. Things were pretty grim, we had a third party organization that was messing things up for us, so it was literally a battlefield out there. The little cabin that my team had exclusive access to was called the ‘war room’ and we were like an army trying to win back a lost battle. The whole period of 6 months was like a time of chaos around me, my personal life took a back seat and all I could think about while awake or all that I dreamed in my sleep was my work. I was blessed to have a wonderfully talented team who were willing to give their 200% to see this through. There were a bunch of really dedicated guys who believed we could make it through.
When I knew I couldn’t push any more harder I just surrendered everything to the Lord and I remember saying this “Lord I know it’s not in me to accomplish this, but I know that I can do all things through Christ who is my strength [Phil 4:13], so I surrender this situation into your hands” And in the midst of all this chaos I began to experience the most amazing feeling I ever have. I was experiencing a certain bliss, a certain lightness in my heart. I remember driving home at 3 am singing “Thank You Lord” with a smile I would reach home have dinner and hit the sack, eager next morning to get back to work. This was my daily routine for several months.
Things started working for the good, the problems I had to solve were getting solved, the targets I had to accomplish were getting accomplished, slowly but surely I began seeing the Lord’s hand in all this. By the time it was all over I received a lot of accolades for what was accomplished but I knew that I couldn’t take any credit, they all belonged to the Lord to reveal His glory. Praise God for such a wonderful experience. I now know that I can sail through any storm, come what may, not because of what I have achieved but because of who is on my side. The Lord is such a wonderful teacher, through His Holy Spirit he gives us insights into amazing things so that we don’t just live a life of survival but rather reign through it all.
I do pray and hope that this may encourage you to put your complete trust in the Lord even if you are facing the most trying time of your life. When you do that you will not just be able to smile but you will actually see how wonderful our Lord is and praise and thank Him for what He is about to do.
A friend of mine was a little too concerned about this problem I was going through and he appeared to me as a bit tense. I am really thankful for such friends who can care enough for my problems but I had to tell him “Hey, it’s me that’s facing the problem and I’m cool about it so why do you look so tense?”