Wednesday, September 17

When Jesus leads us into a storm*

A personal dialog with Jesus
(from Matt. 8:18-27) ...

Now when Jesus saw a crowd around Him, He gave orders to depart to the other side of the sea...

Why, Lord, do you lead us away from the crowds...activity...ministry just when things are beginning to look promising? There is so much to do. And just when the crowds are beginning to gather, you lead us to depart to the other side of the sea?

When He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him...

Yes, even though we don't understand your ways or timing, we who call ourselves followers of Christ, get in to the boat taking us far from all the action and exuberance of the crowds.

And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being covered with the waves; but Jesus Himself was asleep...

I might be able to deal with this storm if you were at least awake and personally navigating us through the crisis. How could you just lie there and SLEEP through the whole thing? This is terrifying. We're going under. We have no hope of getting out of this mess! What were you thinking when you led us away from the crowds and deliberately take us out into a dangerous storm? I'M NOT HEARING GETTING ANY ANSWERS TO MY QUESTIONS, LORD! Why the silence?!?! Don't you know that we're about 60-seconds from going under?!?!

And they came to Him and woke Him, saying, "Save us, Lord; we are perishing!"

Now that we're in the middle of the storm you led us into, unless you personally intervene and save us, we will certainly perish!

Where is the God of Psalm 121, "The Lord is your KEEPER; The Lord is your SHADE on your right hand. The sun will not smite you by day, Nor the moon by night. The Lord WILL PROTECT you from ALL EVIL; He will KEEP YOUR SOUL. The Lord WILL GUARD YOUR GOING OUT and your coming in From this time forth and forever." Aren't those your very words? Where are you now when we need you so desperately to come through for us?

He said to them, "Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?"

Afraid? Duh, of course we are afraid! Don't you see the waves around us? Can't you feel the wind blowing us away? Is this really the best time for a rebuke about our little faith?

Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm.

Another second longer, and we most certainly would have gone under. Why did you wait so long to intervene? Why do you lead us out into storms like these?

"Sometimes God calms the storms;
and sometimes God lets the storms rage,
and calms the child." (Unknown)

The men were amazed, and said, "What kind of a man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?"

Now I am beginning to understand. There isn't a single aspect to our lives that you do not have completely under your control. Just as surely as you control the winds and sea, you are well aware of the "storm" I am going through right now. While I might feel anxious, troubled, and fearful at its "winds and waves", you are right there with me. You have allowed this storm in my life for a purpose. You wouldn't have allowed this storm unless it was part of your greater overall plan. I trust you now that you are in perfect control of everything happening around me.

I want to be faithful, and praise you in this storm.

"Praise you in this storm" by Casting Crowns.

*This post dedicated to all my friends and brothers out there currently going through a storm.

9 comments:

jeff w. said...

Guy,

I have been thinking similar thoughts lately based on the pattern the Israelites faced between Egypt and the Promise Land. God continually led them into difficult circumstances. First to a place where they would be trapped between Pharaoh and the Read Sea. Then, three days later out into the desert to a place with bitter water. The list goes on from there.

Too often we grumble or allow fear to control us. Instead, we need to trust and see what God is doing in us or through us. Of course, this is a lot easier to say when it is someone else going through the storm!

Jeff

Deb Burton said...

Oh, to be able to see what God sees, especially when we're in the middle of something. But then, of what value would our faith be? Not to go blindly, but to go trustingly....

Nige said...

Read this bro: Mud Sweat Tears and Glory

http://kiwichronicles.blogspot.com/2008/09/mud-sweat-tears-and-glory.html

GuyMuse said...

Jeff,

So true about God continually leading his people into difficult circumstances. As we go through these "storms" we need to remember to trust that God is in the boat with us and see what He is up to.

Deb,

Good point! I believe there is nothing we face that has not gone first through his permisive "OK" before it gets to us. I'm working on a follow-up post about what it really means to be a follower of Christ. It is not a rosy road!

Nige,

Mi buen amigo, this was good stuff that you shared with us from kiwichronicles. As I wrote this post, I had you guys in mind as some of those going through a storm. Thanks for the additional material that encourages!

Deborah said...

Guy, I love this story....it is one that has ministered to us over and over during our years on the field. The hardest part is sometimes accepting that the "greater plan" may not be something that we ever see come to fruition. That takes faith. And amazement, "What kind of man is this?--even the winds and the sea obey Him!"

Fear often robs us of that faith and amazement. Fear brings worry, doubt, and sometimes even despair.

In the midst of all that though...our tiny mustard seed faith....takes us to "Lord, save us!" And He's there bringing peace in the midst of our storms.

May those that you know who are going through a storm feel His presence and see the storm obey His word!

Blessings,
Deb

Tim Rogers said...

Brother Guy,

Great minds do think alike. :)

Blessings,
Tim

GuyMuse said...

Deborah and Tim,

Yes, indeed, it is a great and comforting story in the Gospels that has ministered to many in multiple ways. What is also interesting to me is what takes place AFTER the storm and they get to the other side. I may blog on this in the coming days.

Kevin, Somewhere in South America said...

It's all good and true, Bro. Guy; but don't you have days when you wish the storm did not last quite so long?! :-)

What I enjoy about the storms is how the Lord always "wakes up" at the right time. He never fails.

Peace,
kds

GuyMuse said...

Kevin,

What I enjoy about the storms is how the Lord always "wakes up" at the right time. He never fails.

AMEN!