How to Get Back on Your Feet After a Storm?

How to Get Back on Your Feet After a Storm?

by Olga Hermans

 

 

Have you ever watched the progress of a furious storm on the news, and noticed how trees respond to the assault of the relentless high winds? You may see an uprooted tree flying by while the newscaster describes the devastation of the storm. Or you may see a tropical tree bent to the ground as rain pummels the reporter who is struggling to stand upright.

People, when faced with the fast and furious storms of life, are similar to trees: some are strong and stable, withstanding the ongoing gales, but some come crashing down in heavy winds.

There is a particular tree that is found in areas that experience a lot of tropical storms: the palm tree. Its trunk is not as massive as, say an oak tree, but it seems to fare so much better than most other trees in those powerful storms. The resiliency and strength of the palm tree has amazed me when I have noticed them in a documentary or a TV show like Survivor. They seem to withstand the most violent of storms. Would you like to know why?

You guessed it! God designed them to bend, but not break in those heavy windstorms. Palm tree can bend all the way over until their tops touch the ground, yet still not break. They can remain bent for 4-5 hours without snapping in two, because they are very resilient. They bounce right back. Researchers say that when the palm tree is bent to the ground, its root system is actually strengthened by the stress, giving new opportunities for growth.

We too should bend with hard times and then grow. Psalm 92:12 says: “Righteous people flourish like palm trees.” That is what God says will happen to you and me, if we just stay in faith.

You and I were designed to bend and not break. God promises to give you ‘…strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy’ (Colossians 1:11). The unfolding of God’s amazing plan for your life will happen as you show your ability to endure. Do you believe that?

You may be facing a divorce that you don’t want, or the death of a loved one, or you may have received a bad report about your health. The storms come rolling in and it looks as if your dreams are being swept away with them. But you are like a palm tree, and once the storm has passed, you will arise. You will get back on your feet and keep growing. Certainly, there will be times that it would appear to be ‘over’ for you. You’re done.

But you are not average. You are not an ordinary person. Life may have given you a tough blow. But the good news is that God has put that bounce back in your spirit to get you back on your feet again in no time.

Don’t be tempted to give up on your dreams. Hold on to them. Dig deep into your spirit, and know that you are more than a conqueror. You were created to rise above your problems.

No weapon formed against you will prosper. Proverbs 24:16 says that even if good people fall seven times, they will get back up.
It is in the tough times of life that we find out what we are really made of. The storms in life are intended to test your quality, to test your character and to test your faith. All through life you will face various storms, and, of course, they are not enjoyable, but God uses storms to strengthen you, to cleanse and purify you.

He is trying to shape you into the person He wants you to be. Those winds, that storm, that trouble, that sickness will not last forever. When the ill winds are blowing, and they will, know that this too shall pass.

I remember the time I had to face severe rejection from people who meant a lot to me. Before my salvation, I was involved in a self-help group. I liked the people and was enjoying what I was learning.

At one meeting, the group leader guided us in visualization. (For those of you who are not familiar with how this works, the leader provides the general details of the visualization, such as place, time, and weather. Each group member imagines or visualizes the particulars of the experience such people, relationships, or emotions.)

The group was climbing a mountain. I was one of the last ones in the group and I kept looking at them, wondering why they never looked back at me to see that I was so far behind.

As I kept climbing, I saw that the whole group had gone to the left. They were sitting in a circle, not aware that I was missing. I continued to the top of the summit where a very old man with a beard was waiting for me. The mountain top was a cliff , and as I looked, I saw a little river of blood streaming below. Then I looked up again, and saw a man in a white dress, waving at me to come over to the other side. There wasn’t a bridge or anything, but I did notice, a hair-thin line connecting where I stood to the other side. I knew I couldn’t make it that day, and looked at the old man and asked him, “What I should do?” He replied, “At the right time, you will know what to do.”

I recounted my visualization experience to my group, and from that moment on they totally rejected me! I was mystified. It was very, very painful. At a later meeting, we were sitting in our customary circle and I asked each and every one of them “Do you want me to stay in the group?” I asked 15 people and 15 people told me that they preferred that I leave.

I wept and wept that evening. Totally broken, I couldn’t even stand upright from the emotional pain I was experiencing. I was devastated and in the middle of a storm. In that moment, I was bent to the ground. But God was strengthening my “root system”, preparing me for new growth. I will never forget that day. Later, that new growth came in the gift of my salvation and discovering the meaning of the stream of blood and the identity of the man (Jesus) on the other side.

King David said the following about people who trust in God, ‘They are strong, like a tree planted by a river…” (Psalm 1:3 NCV). God’s plan for you is to go deep, stay connected to Him, and never be uprooted, or blown away. If you’re facing attack, or a storm, don’t ask, ‘Why me?’ Instead remember, “God has made me like a palm tree” and you will ALWAYS be able to bounce back and get back on your feet.

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Comments

  1. I have been particularly touch by this article as I just recently receive a storm of my failed exam which I really did investment in both time and money wise. There is some inner strength in me but I am really hurt. I lost my job last year in June 2011 and still have not secured any job until now. My permit is not out (overdue) ever since I applied for a renewal so its difficult for me to get a job. My life seems to be facing a storm and I am a pastor’s wife and we are self- sponsored missionaries. Which means we need to be working with our hands to earn our living while preaching the Word of God.

    • HI Enih, God is your provider; He is your source and I believe that He will do so. I can see that this whole situation hurts you, but you will come out stronger on the other side!! Ask God for wisdom and direction; He might show you something that you are not aware of. Stay open to Him, ok? Let me know how you are doing.

  2. Wayne Tyler-Scott says:

    Hi there Olga,

    Thank you for that amazing testimony, your update today has touched the very depth of where i am in my life and relationship with God.

    A few years ago, after losing my job due to Lay-offs (retrenchments) at work, I was given the life changing opportunity to enter into the ministry at my local Church. I was very excited and very zealous to go for it but took time to make the decision based on where i felt God was directing me. I also discussed the matter with my wife and after 3 months everything so naturally fell into place and I became the Zone Pastor for my region.

    The change was a breath of fresh air to me and my life became meaningful and filled with purpose. Although I faced many trials and challenges, God’s Grace, Wisdom and love carried me through it all and I passed many of the challenges with “flying colors”.

    That was, till last year August, on my birthday to be exact… My wife and I got into a minor argument concerning our cash flow. The argument was not even noteworthy to me but I must have overlooked the seriousness of the situation, all the signs were right there, my wife had become distant and not supportive for the past couple of months, spending a lot of time over at her parents and friends across town. I had become so over-zealous of the work I was doing that I had failed to notice the changes in my very own home.

    Without any real explanation, my wife of only 2 and half years left me and I was divorced by the 31st September. My life was shattered but to make matters even worse, a close acquaintance who my wife and I had been counselling for the past 6 months took her own life around the time of my separation. Although I had to step down from any form of leadership, the leadership of the Church were very understanding and supportive.

    My Senior Pastor on the other hand, who had just lost his 2 year old son in a home accident, took great offence to the divorce and after meeting with my wife to discuss the matter he broke all ties with me and I was requested to leave the Church and town where I was based.
    I will probably never know what was discussed in their meeting, but that doesn’t really matter. I honored all involved and left town and moved to my parents who were already taking care of my younger brother who at the time was suffering from congestive heart failure.

    I have forgiven those who did me wrong, but cannot forget… At times I feel that I not only failed my Church but God as well. I have remained faithful to my relationship with God and even though I know better, at times it really feels like He is not showing me any direction?!
    I lost my family, my Dream Career, Relationships with awesome people, along with my material possessions as home, cars and income. I am still unemployed.

    This storm devastated my life and although I know and believe God is looking out for me, Why is He so silent..? Why do I feel the anger..? Why am I still in the same place without change..?
    Am I doing something wrong?

    The whole situation has humbled me and tested my faith to the outer limits! I have seen God heal my brother, give my family a home after being evicted and provide when even the simplest of things ran out, but I would really want to see a personal breakthrough in my life. Where do I find purpose again…

    Thank You for taking the time to read and for the constant Inspiration you impart into the lives of others.

    Blessings!

    • HI Wayne, I really think you have to deal with the shame in your life. When Adam had sinned in the garden of Eden, he wanted to hide from God. Sometimes our sin makes us to want to hide from God. When we are in the presence of God and He wants to come close and deal with the situation, we back off because of shame. Next time when the Lord wants to come close, don’t back off. God to God with an open heart and He will draw close to you and lay it all before him. Another thing what Adam did was that he kept blaming his wife and his wife kept blaming the snake. If we keep blaming others, we cannot be delivered from the shame. Let me know if this helps!! Thanks for being so open!

  3. latanya mcmillian says:

    HI MS.OLGA, FIRST OF ALL I WOULD LIKE TO SAY YOU ALWAYS BLESSES MY SOUL AND ENCOURAGES ME ALL THE TIME YOU ARE TRULY A BLESSING AND I PRAY THAT OUR FATHER GOD CONTINUE TO KEEP YOU AND YOUR FAMILY ALWAYS.THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BEING WHO YOU ARE IN CHRIST AND ALLOWING HIM TO USE YOU AS HIS VESSEL OF HONOR. THE ARTICLE WAS WHAT I NEEDED TO RECEIVE TODAY I MADE UP IN MY HEART YESTERDAY THAT I WASNT GOING TO ALLOW THE ENEMY TO KEEP STEALING MY JOY,PEACE,TIME,AND LOVE ANY MORE.I PRAISE GOD FOR DELIVERING ME OUT OF THAT STORM NOW I’M READY TO GROW IN HIM.I’VE LEARNED ALOT NOW IT’S TIME TO MOVE ON.THANK YOU SO MUCH.

    • Thanks Latanya for commenting, that blesses me! I am in agreement with you that you will got to greater height and do and see things behind your own imagination! Stay in touch please!!

  4. Hi Olga…Excellent article! Your article reminds me of; “Why ‘Palm Sunday’ has always been so important! ” …Thank you for sharing, Hughie 🙂

  5. Thanks for the great post today Olga. It was so interesting to read your story and see part of the journey that God brought you through and how it can encourage each of us who reads it to hold on and bend like the Palm tree, knowing we will not break. Thank you for sharing.

  6. An amazing and timely article Olga. There are so many experiencing life’s storms these days. Thank you:)

  7. I love this article! Thank you for sharing it!
    We are way stronger than we know. I was thinking this morning about the analogy about how woman and tea bags are a like, you never know how strong they are until they get in hot water. So true!

  8. Martin L. Barawa says:

    So encouraging.Even after a storm it is not the end of life.

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