On Tuesday a couple of years ago, I was driving on my way back from church singing loudly with my windows down and my music on the highest volume. My pastor had preached a really good sermon and I was in a good mood. Then, something other than the music began speaking into my ears and it was so overwhelming that I almost felt the need to pull my car over to see if I was hallucinating. This was my first time hearing God’s voice.
At that moment, he promised me something that I had never imagined my life would lead me to. When he spoke that word over my life while I was on the highway, I spent the next few months denying what he had told me. Each time I denied it, God would confirm it in mind-blowing spiritual ways that would send tears down my face. Then, I got to a point where I could no longer deny what God had said because my denials were met with such resistance. I had to just accept that me hearing God’s voice was not just my hallucinating thoughts. After I began to accept the promise, I expected things to automatically begin falling into place because God had spoken. The direct opposite occurred. God began taking me through the hardest storm I had ever faced for almost a year. The area of my life where God had made this promise turned into a category five hurricane. It was then that I realized that when God speaks a promise over your life, your current situation has to fall apart so that the future can come together. God always gives you the promise before the storm.
God’s promise came before the storm because he knew that if I didn’t know where the storm was going to take me, then I would probably settle for smoother seas. Smooth seas are easier to handle and they don’t require much effort to make it to the other side. From a distance, that looks like something to envy but in the end, I’m grateful for the raging seas and rough storms I have faced. The roughest storms lead to the biggest blessings and the toughest storms create skilled sailors. Storms are God’s way of preparing his children to receive our promise. During my storm, God stripped me of the destructive habits that would’ve contaminated my promise and he equipped me with the mindset, outlook, and characteristics that are necessary to manifest my promise. Of course, there were times when waves of doubt would threaten to sink my ship, but I kept sailing through the storm. Doubt is a natural human reaction to tough situations and I don’t believe God was disappointed just because I had times where I doubted. He just expected me to counteract that doubt with His word, my belief in the promise he gave me, and my faith. Faith is the result of a commitment to rising above every wave of doubt and never allowing it to take me under. In fact, those waves of doubt are what tested and increased my faith which will ultimately be the catalyst for the manifestation of my promise.
In Matthew 8:23-27, Jesus was on a boat along with his disciples sailing to the other side but then a storm arose and Jesus had fallen asleep. His disciples woke him up in the midst of the storm out of fear that they were about to drown and Jesus said: “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Even in the midst of your storm when you feel God is sleeping on your situation, you have to find peace within your promise. Believe that if God gave you a promise before your storm, then he will surely get you to the other side.