Keep On Living

The elders would often say, “Keep on living.” I had no clue as to what it meant – actually I had no clue to many of their euphemisms. I failed to understand their meaning, and if I’m honest, I often assumed whatever they said didn’t pertain to me, and was leftover language from the land before time (y’all remember that one?). Yet “keep on living,” this wisdom packed narrative was rooted in the understanding that each of us, if we are so afforded, will experience something in our lives by which we are unprepared, underprepared or ill-prepared. Over the last week, our hearts have been humbled and broken as we witnessed those in the path of the hurricane be challenged on every front imaginable. If you were like me, you had to drown out the naysayers who uttered, ‘Why didn’t they just leave?” Or, “Why would they stay in harm’s way?” When I was younger, or even less cognizant of all the factors one has to consider and make amidst the storms of life, I too would have spoken similar sentiments. However, as I “keep on living,” I cannot forego the admittance that I too have chosen of what others consider, the path of destruction, often deliberately and with more resources than our community members in ravished hurricane stricken areas. Admittedly, how many times has God provided warning signs, sirens, flashing lights, locusts, pestilence and famine while I willingly, voluntarily chosen the path of resistance; and was He not still God? Did He not look beyond my fault (ALL of THEM) and see my need (Over and Over Again)?! You see we don’t have to use Ida as our single reference, who is riddled with murky intersections of money, access, time, resources, etc. Each of us with the grace of God has emerged from a “keep on living” experience when we’ve elected the storm at sea as opposed to peace on the shore.

Why do we choose the storm? It may not be popular to admit, but I’ve been guilty of thinking I know more than God. Not in the sense of proclaiming such, but in terms of thinking I can get away with something because it’s so minute that God is too big and consumed with more important matters. God’s attention is in Louisiana, so it’s cool if I engage in a little “extraness” on the east coast. Wrong! We serve an omnipresent God. May we never forget that God is leaned in to every detail of our lives, all at the same time! Even when we’ve chosen the storm, our time spent may be linked to whether we desire to repent and ask God to take us out or grant us the strength to endure until the conclusion of the matter. Something important to note is that even though we may have chosen a storm, doesn’t mean we can’t ask God to intervene. Psalm 46:1 affirms, “God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.” When we find ourselves in over our heads, we have carte blanche to ask God a simple S.O.S.

Sometimes Saints, the storm chooses us. Our family, friends, loved ones, and members of humanity did not ask for the hurricane to come their way. Further, it is not God’s way of punishing. Sure, climate change (it’s really real y’all) is playing a major factor, but in the spiritual storms of life, God allows some occurrences to come to strengthen our faith, to have a greater reliance upon Him, to humble us, to encourage and witness to someone else and for elevation in Him. Yet, when we are submerged and searching for dry land and breath, believing God in the storm seems afar off. If you’ve been reading my most recent posts, you will know that I shared that I’ve been navigating a few storms concurrently, all while believing God and questioning God, honestly speaking. I thank God for the times I’ve sought Him and established a prayer, worship and praise life within Him, because those deposits have a remarkable way of returning and not unto us void – but accomplishing the purpose for which it was sent (Isaiah 55:11). During the course of the week while balancing several life events, I declared audibly (so I and the enemy of my soul could hear), “I expect that what you (God) promised, you will perform!” I had myself a praise “party of one” all by myself! When we are in the storm, whether deliberate or involuntary, seemingly permanent or temporary, it is incumbent upon us to declare, decree and dictate that God is not a man that He should lie; neither the son of man, that He should repent: hath He said, and shall He not do it? or hath He spoken, and shall He not make it good (Number 23:19)? God has not forgotten. He will not leave us by ourselves. Unfamiliar with the storm? Keep on Living. While the elders may have been referring to the fact that each of us will experience some reckoning, it is important to note that they didn’t say, “Keep on dying.” Even in their rebuke or admonishment, there was expectancy that God would sustain us long enough to encounter something by which we would need to call upon Him.

In the storm? Trust God.


  • Tonya Wells

    …what a blessing to my soul!

    • Stephanie

      Amen! Thank you for reading!

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