In the Midst of a Storm
By: Max Godby
My mom tells a story about me and a pair of Buzz Lightyear glow-in-the-dark shoes. They flashed with each step! To a four- year-old boy, that is more important than life! While strolling through a department store, I found the coveted shoes. I ran to my mom with the shoes gripped tightly in my hands, treating them like the Holy Grail. She looked at the size on the box — two sizes too small. I have always been a big kid, from birth to now. I currently weigh 305 lbs. and wear a size 15 shoe. Needless to say, I towered over the other four-year-olds in 1995. Mom asked me where I found the shoes, so she could find them in my size. I didn’t know at the time, but she was praying that the right size was there — it wasn’t. She knelt down and told me that none of the flashing Buzz Lightyear shoes would fit me. Sheer disappointment covered my face, and my mom’s heart broke for me. I walked to the spot where I found the shoes, put them up, and walked through the store with my head down the entire time.
Last Saturday, I left “The Swamp” with a look on my face and a tear in my eye very similar to the disappointment of the shoes when I was four. I left empty handed. I had invested emotionally–whether my entire off season of strength and conditioning or lying on the floor and watching Toy Story when I was four– I expected a result, and I failed to attain it. We, as human beings, emotionally invest into so many different things in our lives, whether that is a sport, a career, or family. We expect, desire and work for a certain outcome or that attainable prize. We make sacrifices, and we feel like we deserve the desired result, but life has a mean left hook. The end result sometimes is pain and empty hands.
“What do I do now?” Probably everyone reading this has asked this question before. Please understand that I do not believe my level of disappointment over a pair of shoes or a football game is larger or worse than the disappointment of others. Many have lost parents, children, and loved ones. People fight every day against cancer and illness. The way I see it, everyone weathers a storm, or storms, at some point. The question becomes, “How do we get out of the storm?”
Disappointment causes us to do one of two things–we either emotionally withdraw ourselves and give up on the dream or goal, or it drives us to push even harder to accomplish the dream or goal. Oliver Goldsmith once said, “Success consists of getting up just one more time than you fall.” My answer to the question “What do I do now?” is to “keep fighting.” Galatians 6:9 says, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”
We will never escape disappointment. In life, disappointment is inevitable. However, in the midst of the storm, utter chaos and disappointment, the Cross still stands. People often ask me, “Where is God when we are hurting?” My answer is simple. He is right next to us, suffering as well. God walked down that shoe aisle with me to help put the shoes up. He walked off the field with me last Saturday. God’s love for us stretches beyond our cognitive ability to understand. He is empathetic towards us as well. He understands that Buzz Lightyear shoes are important to a four-year-old and to the mother who loves him. He understands how important an SEC game on the road is to a fifth-year senior. God reveals something so amazing in times of disappointment. He constantly reminds us that He is so much bigger than football and shoes. He is bigger than cancer, death, divorce, pain and suffering. God is enough. Disappointment is inevitable, but so is God’s promise to us all–“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.” -1 Corinthians 2:9
Take a step of faith. Leave disappointment in the storm, and live free.