2019-01-11 - God of the Storms
Originally Published 2006-04-24
Mark 4:35-40 (KJV) And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side. 36 And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. 37 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. 38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? 39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?
Jesus was able to sleep through a storm, because of his faith. He trusted God to lead him, so he didn't have worries about the ups and downs in life; he knew God would see him through it until he got where God wanted him to be. I once heard a preacher say something along the lines of "God won't let us die. if we're doing his will, until his plan is accomplished in us." That must be how Jesus felt. He desired to always be about his Father's business (Luke 2:49), so he could sleep in the storm, knowing that God's plan was not yet finished. He was not yet to that cry on Calvary (John 19:30).
Back last August or September, my wife, Dana, and I both began to feel like it was time for us to leave New Heights - the church we had attended for nearly eight years. We liked the church, and I had really grown a lot there in my Christian walk. For Dana and our son, Jordan, it was their only church home. There were no big problems; we simply felt it was time to go. It seemed we had both done all we could there, and with no new challenges, we had just stopped growing. We talked about it and prayed about it a lot. Our church home was a safe harbor, and as I looked out into the sea, all I saw was storm clouds. I prayed and prayed about those storm clouds. I prayed for God to make them all clear up, but God kept telling me to get in the boat, anyway.
The prayer conversation went something like this:
"God I'll go, but can you take away the storm?"
“Go, my son."
"But God, look. Can't you see what I see? Look at all these problems with leaving! We won't be able to make it, God. We should wait."
"But God. What about Jordan? How will he handle leaving the only church he's ever known? Will he like any place else? What about Dana, Lord? Don't you remember how shy she can be? God, it took her a few years to open up to people at church. She just started using her flute-playing talent weekly for you. Will she again be sidelined by shyness, for years? Surely, you don't want that. I think we better stay right here, God.”
“Adam, did you hear me? I said go.”
"But what about me God? I serve you right where I am. I work with Jordan's age group during church. He loves what we do, and I do, too. I do that Bible study with the teens, too. Then there's Sunday School. Those first and second graders need a teacher. Who'll do it, if I don't? God, I know you called me to teach others, and I'm doing that right here, where I'm at. And what about preaching, God? If you make me go, I won't get to preach for a long, long time - if ever. Was I wrong that you called me to preach? Nobody will know me. I won't even be able to write devotions for others, Lord. I know you called me to preach and teach; and I know you gave me the ability to do that orally, and in writing, to. What about those things? I'll be sidelined for a long time, until we find a new church, and the people get to know me well enough to trust me with your work. God, do you really want me to go back to just warming a bench on Sundays, for a few years? That can't be what you want. Is it? What purpose will us moving serve?”
"Will you go, already?"
"OK God, but I'm not so sure about this.”
Sometimes, Jordan and I kid Dana that her favorite thing on TV is The Weather Channel. If a storm's coming, she is glued to it, and even when there's not one, I still see her watching it periodically, throughout the day. This time, though, I was the storm watcher. All the patches of green and red looked impossible to sail through. But we finally got the message to get out on the lake and head to the other side. God wanted us to leave our home and find a new one. There was not doubt we heard Jesus' call, "Let us pass over unto the other side.”
All scripture references from King James Version (KJV) unless otherwise noted
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