Tuesday, August 7, 2012

It's Alright

"Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him.  And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep.  Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, "Lord, save us! We are perishing!"  But He said to them, "Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?" Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.  So the men marveled, saying,  "Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?" Matthew 8:23-27

I have read this story a million times, but for some reason, it struck a cord with me like it hasn't ever done before.  I felt like I could genuinely *feel* the fear that the disciples must have had on that boat.  Sometimes life is like an angry sea and there is a lack of assurance that everything is going to be okay.  I know that I have many moments where I feel despondent, hopeless, deserted and vulnerable. 

But what I find the greatest comfort in, is when Jesus says "Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?"

He knew that everything was going to be okay.  He was the one controlling the wind and the waves, if His disciples were trusting in Him and believing that He was the Son of God, then it didn't make sense why they questioned their own safety, when their safety lied in the hands of the God Who was with them on that very boat.  

And so I've wondered why I question the outcome... why do I wonder if everything is going to be okay?  Honestly, if I truly have the faith that Jesus is the keeper of my soul, what on this entire earth should I have to fear?

Absolutely nothing.

There is not one thing that can pluck me from the hand of God:

"And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.  My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand." John 10:28-29

So I realized how silly my fears were.  Fears about failing, or about what the future has, or about not living up to extra biblical standards... fears about people gossiping or lying about me-- all these things that the enemy uses to distract me from the greater purpose that the Lord has set before me.  Things to take my mind off my redemption and point me back to myself, instead of my Savior.  If I can just focus on myself and my own failures, then I will lose what the very definition of salvation itself is.  I need to be looking to the cross, not myself.  Even if it is a focus on shortcomings, it's still a focus on me.  It is still my heart saying that I need to do this, or I need to do that, when it has already been done for me.  I need to show forth good works so that I can be a testimony to a lost and dying world; not so that I can somehow be pleasing before the Lord and earn favor with Him.  

God has used these trials in my life to show me my own lack of faith.  I desire the kind of faith that can move mountains! (Matthew 17:20)  Or the kind of faith that isn't afraid to take a stand so powerful that it is a risk to my own physical life! (Esther 4:16)  I want to be able to impact others with the work Jesus has done in my own life and show how beautiful salvation is.  

But without the faith that God knows everything and is in control of everything that happens, my ability to have a huge impact is inhibited because all I can worry about is me.  (Philippians 4:6)  Instead, I need to trust God and just focus on proclaiming the glory of His name throughout the earth.  Instead of letting my fears bog me down, I need to meditate on the fact that Jesus is with me and ordaining my steps.  If I fail, then it is just an opportunity for me to become sanctified in an area that I need to be convicted in, and if I am wounded, it is an opportunity for me to become even more dependent on my Savior for comfort and love.  God's love is perfect.  It isn't unwavering like human love and affection; but it is constant and unchanging.  Why do we act like it just isn't enough for us?  Why can't we just hold onto something so perfect and glorious that was given to us in all our unworthiness?  

When we go through times where we feel unwelcome, unloved, rejected or lonely, those are moments just bursting with potential for a deeper relationship with the Lord!  It is God telling us that we don't need to be accepted, adored, or admired; but that we just need Him.  Corrie Ten Boom said "You may never know that Jesus is all you need, until Jesus is all you have" and that is just jam packed with truth.  It is in our darkest moments that the light of Jesus is so bright and powerful... it is when our hearts are broken that the balm of Gilead is the sweetest and the comfort of the Holy Spirit is overwhelmingly glorious. 

With that I shall end with a link.  (I know you're just overwhelmed with excitement! ;)  It is a song that has been a great source of comfort to me lately and is probably responsible for the inspiration of this blog post.  

So here you go:


"...for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you." -Matthew 17:20

1 comment:

Gran-Just Pondering said...

I received your URL from my granddaughter and I'm so glad!
I can really relate to this story. When we lived on the OBX, my husband and I were novice boatowners. One day we went out under beautiful clear skies. A couple of hours later, the water started to "kick up" so we headed back. As we turned into the inlet, that treacherous crossroads of two opposing tides where the currents became really nasty.
David did all the right things, banked into the waves the tops of which were higher than our head. It only lasted less than fifteen minutes but it was an adrenalin pumping time!
We were slung around sufficiently to have to brace ourselves and hang on for dear life. The water sprayed over us like a trellis you might walk under. We looked up a couple of times to a bank of water higher than our heads.
Slowly we made our progress around the bite and into the calmer inlet tides. We looked at each other with eyes like saucers (we laughed about that later), drew a deep breath and said, "Wow!"
When we got home, we sat down to talk about it. Amazingly neither of us were frightened at the time, just over stimulated by the circumstances. David had an incredible perspective. He asked, "What if we were in that circumstance and didn't know the Lord? Didn't know that He was trustworthy?"
Postscript: we sold the boat shortly thereafter, deciding discretion was the greater part of value. But, the lesson learned was this: when eternity is secure, drastic circumstances do not overwhelm.
Gran-Just Pondering