Surviving the Worst Storms of Life
- 2015 Mar 12
Memory Verses: Matthew 8:26; John 16:33
God sets a destination before me.
I trust in him to bring me there.
God goes silent.
I start to panic.
I question his plan,
doubt his cause,
and fear his promptings.
I wonder, where did my Lord go?
Have you ever been in these shoes?
Sure of where you are going - only to question, shortly thereafter, if God has fallen asleep on you?
You are not alone.
Jesus' closest friends felt exactly how you felt.
You see they had a destination. Jesus said to the disciples, after a time of deep and meaningful life instruction, "Let us go across to the other side (of the sea).” (Mk. 4:35)
They knew where they were headed; they had a destination and Jesus was going to take them there.
But plans were changed as a storm threatened their boat.
Despite their effort to move, to go and to make progress something stood against.
It not only seemed their journey a lost cause, but they probably felt that way too.
How often are we like the disciples?
We scream out in our storms, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing." (Mt. 8:25)
"Where are you Lord? I am drowning here."
"Lord, didn't you tell me - to go?"
And, sometimes he answers.
And, other times - it seems - he doesn't.
When he doesn't, we wonder:
1. What did I do wrong?
2. How did I go wrong?
3. What is Jesus doing wrong?
We almost want to grab him and say, 'Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?' (Mk. 4:38)
We are here Lord, we are in this rocky, turbulent boat called life, Lord! Do you see us? Do you care? Where are you? How come you are not directing us to our destination like you planned?
We try to shake him.
We try to wake him.
We know we only need his touch - because it will do so much.
So, we bawl and we call.
And, he sees our squall.
Not to let us fall. He comes to our rescue as our all-in-all.
But, only then do his words brush up against our heart saying, "Dear one, why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” (Mk. 4:40). Or, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?' (Mt. 8:26)
And, in this moment, we realize, he was with us the whole time.
We already had the touch that we desired so much.
But, we missed his saving power.
We lost sight of him.
What if we actually believed -through the storm, rather than fearing - in the storm?
What sort of miracle would Jesus do?
What would we behold?
A deep sense that "we missed it" floods over us.
Because, while we thought he was sleeping and dreaming of things other than us, he was always planning to bring us through - according to his ways.
He was always in our turbulent boat, right there next to us.
We saw the storm raging, and felt alone, but he was right there - in the midst of it - not leaving our side.
While we feared waters would cover us and we would never reach the promised land, the Lord always had a hand of protection over us - even though we couldn't see it.
Jesus calls us to grab hold of faith in storms that appear to prevent us from charting the course he set before us.
Faith that he won't leave us.
That he is with us.
That he can be silent and working at the same time.
That he has a plan despite the circumstances around us.
That he is greater than our best efforts to calm any storm.
That prayer and joy and an eager expectancy of his rescue is the only way to go.
That he is greater than the nature of the world that surrounds us.
Jesus didn't fall asleep on the cross. He knew where he was going.
He never lost his touch.
He is always touching.
He has already conquered all storms, all sin and all sadness.
He knows our destination and his destination for us. Nothing will come against.
Jesus always saves.
I wonder if the disciples wondered if Jesus had fallen asleep - and forgotten them - for 3 days after his death?
Or, did they remember this little boat in a big sea, that tossed like leaf in a windstorm, that threatened their destination and that made them fear? Did they remember that Jesus was always near? That despite how things seemed, the Lord has a greater dream for them.
Perhaps, when the Lord greeted them this time, in heaven, he looked at them and said, "You of great faith, oh, how you have pleased me!"