I took my kids to see Moana this week. First of all – highly recommend. Two thumbs way, way up.
But there was a particular moment in the movie that really struck a nerve with me, and inspired me to write this piece. Moana has left her island in search of Maui the demigod, with only the stars to guide her and a small canoe to keep her afloat. She’s been chosen by the ocean to take this journey and complete a gargantuan task, and she set off with a song on her lips, full of purpose and determination. Cut to several days later, and Moana finds herself off course and in the water with her canoe tipped over, the sail fully submerged. She looks out at the ocean, this giant force that has so clearly chosen her for this task, and says, “Uh, I could use a little help please!” And at that moment, a storm appears on the horizon.
The next time we see Moana, she’s stranded on a desert island, covered in sand, her canoe badly broken. She stands up and runs to the water’s edge and starts yelling at the ocean… I can’t quote the words exactly, but I’m sure you can imagine. The sentiment was something like, “Hey man! You picked me to do this, and I stepped out in faith… where were you when I needed help?” After she’s had her tantrum, she turns and suddenly realizes that this island is the very place she was attempting to find. The storm delivered her right where she was supposed to go.
Have you ever experienced something like this? Because I certainly have. You set off down a road thinking that you’ve heard your God calling you, and somewhere along the way you find yourself lost and in bad shape, maybe even in a dire situation. And when you call out and ask for help, suddenly a storm rolls in. And all you want to do is shake your fist at the sky and scream, “This is the last thing that I need!” But I can tell you from personal, profound experience; sometimes it takes a storm to get you back on course. Sometimes you step so far off the path laid out for you that something hard and dark and scary is what is required to deliver you to your destination.
I’ve faced several storms this year, and each one felt harder than the last. And I’m not alone in that, 2016 seems to have been something of a crucible for many of us. But as we near the end of the year, I’m realizing that God has delivered me to a place He always meant for me to be. It doesn’t look the way I thought it would. I made some mistakes along the way that He’s had to take into consideration, and He has somehow made provisions for them. I feel a lot like I imagine Moana did; my canoe is broken and I have no idea how I’m getting out of here, but I’ve been delivered to the place I was told to go. How incredible is that?
So maybe this is the challenge, to see that sometimes storms are course corrections, not just something to weather. We need to recognize that when we cry out for help, it might not always come in the gentlest of forms. We serve and love an incredibly powerful God, and often we wait until things are so messy that He has to show us that power in order to take us where He wants us to be. So don’t be afraid to call to Him, and don’t be afraid if the answer looks ominous. He’s doing something, even if it takes a storm to accomplish it.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.
Tracy is a writer, professor, mom of two, and Southern California native. She spends her free time hiking, advocating for foster children, drinking coffee with friends, and praising God. She seeks comfort and joy through worship, and hopes to give clarity and encouragement through writing. A perpetual work-in-progress, her daily prayer is that God continues to cut new facets that allow His love to shine brightly through her.
See Tracy’s post here