On September 11, 1992, Hurricane Iniki struck the island of Kauai with the full force of its 145 mph winds. The category 4 storm is the strongest hurricane ever recorded to hit the state of Hawaii. Before it dissipated, it caused $3.1 billion in damage and killed 6 people.
There was small screen print shop on Kauai, and the wind and rain from Iniki drenched all the shop’s white shirts and stained them with the island’s red dirt. Many small businesses might have just closed their doors, but not this print shop. Instead of throwing the shirts out, the owner decided to sell them. What resulted was the formation of the Original Red Dirt Shirt company. Today, these shirts are sold throughout Hawaii and at locations on the mainland including Arizona and Utah. Instead of Iniki bringing the end to something, it gave birth to the rise of something bigger than could have been imagined.
In the book of Genesis, we read the story of Joseph, the 11th of 12 sons born to Jacob, and admittedly his father’s favorite. One day while sporting a beautiful new coat gifted to him by Jacob, Joseph’s brothers became fed up with the special treatment he was getting. So, they sold him to some passing merchants where he eventually ended up as a slave in Egypt.
While there he experienced some successes, but also painful betrayal, and imprisonment. He was even forgotten by those he had helped and who had promised to speak on his behalf. Yet through all this Joseph’s character continually came to the surface. God was not wasting these days in Joseph’s life. When the moment of crisis came in the form of a famine it was Joseph, a foreigner, that Pharaoh trusted to guide the entire nation through the struggle. He had gone from slave to Prime Minister, and at just the right time. Something only God could bring about.
Just as with Joseph, God does not waste the trials in our lives. He often uses them as preparation for what He has for us next. While we don’t always understand the circumstances, we can have confidence that He never fails to bring about His purposes in the lives of those who keep seeking after Him. Not even hurricanes, betrayal and setbacks can stop Him.
This morning, whatever you are facing, God is using it to shape you. Stay the course. He may well be writing your own “Red Dirt Shirt” story for others to read.
“When God is going to do something wonderful, he begins with a difficulty. If it is going to be something very wonderful, He usually begins with an impossibility.” Charles Inwood
Live this week on purpose,