The time is 12:44 pm CST on Monday, September 5, 2011. Location: Somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico.
I’m sitting here in my cabin, with two other girlfriends, looking out at 50 foot waves crashing against our cruise ship. At this point we are 4 hours and 45 minutes late to our destination. Let me set the scene for you. I am stuck in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico on my return from a Girl’s Getaway to Mexico. Tropical Storm “Lee” is stirring in the Gulf and the waters are beyond turbulent. My girlfriends and I are pretty much disappointed, to say the least, that we are stuck in the middle of no where, missing our babies and husbands, but amazed at the force of the waves as they rock our ship. Why are we in the middle of “somewhere” in the Gulf? Glad you asked! Our captain informed us that the port on the coast of Mobile, AL is closed due to the inclement weather. There are no ships allowed to dock at this time. Furthermore, the Captain notified us that although we were almost to Mobile, he had to turn around and detour further south into the Gulf. He had to move the ship to a safer place as we wait out the storm. When he came on the loud speaker informing us that we have been moved to a safer place, I thought to myself, if this is called safe (rocking cabins, 50 foot waves, etc) then I don’t want to see what’s at the dock.
This is where my EmpowerMoment came in. Here we are stuck, waiting off course of our travel route to sit in a rough rocky, yet safer place.
Sometimes God will allow us to sit in a turbulent place in life because what’s ahead is even worse than where we are now. Have you ever wanted to hurry and let a season pass? If our captain were to “hurry” us to the port anyway, just because he could, we may have faced worse conditions. Sometimes it is “meant” for you to ride out the storm. You have to ride out that period in your life, even if it’s rocky.
When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” (Mark 4:39-40 NLT)
Another interesting thing about this storm that I’m currently in is I am not able to reach out to anyone. I’m typing this EmpowerMoment on my laptop, but the internet is down. The phones are busy because everyone else on the ship is trying to use them. So what can I do? I have to sit here and trust that God is in control of the waters. Jesus can calm the waters and quiet the seas and I am holding onto this faith that He will. Often times while in life’s storms, we try to reach out to people. We call our friends, parents, significant others and so forth for comfort and reassurance. But sometimes you’ll pick up the phone, dial about four numbers, and no one answers. This is when God is reminding you that He is the only one that can comfort you, even in the storms He places you in on purpose.
Thank You for getting us through the storms safely. Thank You for evoking a spirit of peace and assurance on our ships. Thank You for driving. You know best when I need a detour or a boost to propel forward. As we go through life’s waves and storms, help us to have the same confidence that You are with us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Sistah Girl, I EMPOWER you this day to 1) Recognize that some detours and storms in life are purposeful obstructions to protect us from what’s ahead 2) Remember, “Even though I walk through the darkest valley,I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalms 23:4 NIV) and 3) “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6 NIV) Don’t complain while in the storm and don’t add worry to your situation by being anxious. Even in situations as tumultuous as the one you are in now pray to God in thanksgiving…it could be worse. Be blessed, and stay encouraged.
As a professional, Mrs. Khalilah Burton is College Biology Instructor. She is also currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Higher Ed and Community College Leadership. Khalilah is passionate about her faith journey and uses this key scripture as her inspiration: “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31 KJV) She teaches Young Adult Bible Study and Sunday School and also serves as a guest speaker and panelist for various events for women and Christian empowerment. Khalilah resides in Millbrook, Alabama with her wonderful husband Donald Burton, Jr. and their energetic three-year old daughter. They attend St. Luke Christian Church. Check out Khalilah’s Christian weight loss blog here.