Life has an interesting way of changing course on us and leaving us seemingly stuck on an island we never intended
to get to. Yet when a storm breaks out, I have come to learn that God, the Creator has a master plan which I rarely if ever will understand.
After a long day, Jesus asked Peter to set forth to the other side of the lake. He was tired so as they sailed, He lay down to rest and shortly, he fell asleep. While He was sleeping, a great storm arose. As the wind and waves buffeted the boat and the disciples did all they could to keep afloat, yet their efforts seemed to be of no recourse as the water gushed over the sides and steadily filled the boat. They kept rowing and scooping but it seemed hopeless and futile. Somehow, they kept rowing, bringing down the sails, adjusting the rudder, scooping water out; on and on doing all they could just to stay afloat. After a while of this uphill battle, they remembered something…Jesus. Wait, wasn’t He aboard the boat? Where was he? Why wasn’t he helping? Didn’t he know they were about to die? If he was really the saviour as He had said, why hadn’t He done something about this situation? Surely He knew that there was very little time to get out of this? Finally out of options, desperate and probably angry they said to him, “Master, don’t you care that we are about to perish?”
Were they really about to perish? Was their assessment of the situation right? Were their worries founded? It was true that they seemed about to perish. However, let me put it another way. They thought they were about to perish because they were approaching the situation from a purely human perspective rather than God’s perspective. They couldn’t see a way out or through the storm. They couldn’t remember that the Creator of the universe was here and He had power over all creation. Why? Well, the circumstances in life had conspired to disconnect them from the reality of who was with them. Did they know who was with them? Yes. Did they trust his abilities? Of course! They had seen Him in action and knew what H could do. So what happened in the middle of the storm? They forgot. The desperation of the situation won over the realities of Christ with them.
Jesus on the other hand didn’t seem bothered. 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. Really? Yes. How could He was asleep in the middle of such a vicious storm? Had He known the storm was coming? Oh yes I believe he did? Was he worried about it? Absolutely not! Why? I dare say that He knew His father was with Him and nothing was impossible for them. He also knew there was a lesson in this situation for the disciples that would connect them to the next phase of their faith and grow in goodness. Could He have asked His father not to send the storm? Absolutely! Yet He chose to let the course of God’s plan work out to the end. How amazing! This spoke volumes to me.
The Eye of the Storm
Many of us are in the eye of different kinds of storms right now. In the last few days and weeks, as I have talked with
brothers, sisters and friends it has seemed like every day a storm rises that feels like it will be the one that kills us. I have sat with friends who are holding onto so little it is as if their fingers are slipping and losing grasp of the things of God. We all seem to be falling apart at the seams like an old blanket. It has felt like God has forgotten or is not aware that we are going through such times or is He? It feels as if there more pain than gain when walking with Him.
I have heard the questions asked:
- If he is really God, why would he let my mother die?
- If he is really God why am I suffering?
- If he is really God why is this or that happening?
The list is truly endless and the jury is still out on it too. In all honesty, I have asked Him these questions countless times. These are questions He won’t take time to answer so in the final analysis I stopped asking first as a move on. I am tired and then with greater understanding.
Walking with God Means…
I have begun (key word there is begun) to understand that I am not as good as I thought I was and I do not have a free pass from challenges in this life. (here I was thinking I am exempt). I realised that salvation doesn’t dissolve all the challenges in life. Walking with God doesn’t mean that I no longer have things to work with or hard situations.
Walking with God means that in the middle of the storm, the cold or the sunshine, there is a hand on my shoulder, a blanket of love, an ever present help with me to the end of the age.
Being a follower of Christ doesn’t protect me from hard times rather it provides a cushion, a softer landing as it were, so that I will come out on the other end better than I was at the start.
There’s a Blessing in the Storm
I learnt the there is a reason or everything under the sun…when I first read it in Ecclesiastes I would say true but now I know it for real and from the way my life has worked out. It has come to mean something to me. It has become ingrained in my life that I must look for the lesson and point of growth in everything that happens around me. Has it been easy? Sure as easy as pulling a wisdom tooth if that is indeed easy and painless. Has it happened overnight? As overnight as several years is then yes it has happened overnight.
A song by Kirk Franklin says, “There’s a blessing in the storm.” This resonates deeply and I agree with that whole
heartedly. The challenge I find is to be still in the midst of everything, listen keenly and hear the heart of God. This hearing will open up understanding for the purposes of God in the season and then provide directions and clarity for the walk ahead. Will it be easy? No! Is it possible? Absolutely! Is there a reason for the storm? Definitely!
Lost & Forsaken Yet Faithful
Remember Christ on the Cross? He felt lost and forsaken by God. Did he walk away or call down angels to rescue him? No. He called out for His father, prayed for the people and died.
My lesson this month has been that I have to be true to who God made me to be and live according to every word that comes from His mouth moment by moment. This will inform how I live, work, relate, communicate, connect, understand, live out and so many other things. This requires obedience to the current instruction even when it seems foolish, unclear and doesn’t make sense to others. Walking with God requires a sensitive heart, ear and mind. It demands that I am in constant communication about everything because He is interested in everything about my life. Nothing is hidden from him, so I must live a life of constant course correcting.
In His Reality
The reality is that He sees every doubt, fear, sin, wonder, smile, joy, grace, peace…He sees it all. When I come to
him openly and let him know how I feel (even though He already knows), my honesty creates room for Him to come and speak clearly and openly. It requires that I accept who I am and realise that I cannot be anyone else. So I must
- The storm is vital because lessons are taught and learnt
- The storm will either wear out, pass or be calmed by God’s word
- The storm’s solution is based on God’s schedule and appointed time
- The storm demands that I remain still, committed and strengthened in my faith;
- The storm is a place where God still sees, knows and answers on time.
- I must choose to remain in faith and obedience without a doubt in the midst of the storm
Indeed, waiting on God is the only way.