Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
“By now it was dark…a strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough…they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on water…they were willing to take Him into the boat, and immediatelythe boat reached the shore where they were heading.”
John 6:17-21 (NIV)
As I sit here this morning, the sun has already come up.
Recent storms have calmed.
A peace has rolled in as I watch the sparkling drops of sunshine dance around the room. There seems to be more peace present now than existed through the unsettling occurrences storms of the recent past. Storms I had hoped not to have to face—at least not yet—which rose up before me. I was at times a bit adrift, and felt like I was being thrown up the side of one wave and down another, wave after wave.
It must have been how those disciples felt in the boat on their storm-tossed sea. Knowing better, by knowing Him, and yet confused, unsettled, disoriented and a bit anxious. And then I heard again His words through a friend; words I knew, but words I had forgotten in the midst of the storms of the moment.
It’s almost embarrassing to have to admit that to myself and to you—that I forgot for the moment. I forgot Who was in control. But the reminder came from the words in the Gospel of Luke—
“They were willing to take Him into the boat,
and immediately the boat reached the shore…”
Any storms in your life at the moment? Or perhaps you’re just coming out of some. We know that at some time for the rest of our lives we will go through them. They will come our way. The issue for us will be how we choose to go through them. And also, whom we choose to go through them with us. With Him, with someone else, or as we all too often do—by ourselves.
Perhaps we will try to convince ourselves that we can avoid them. Yet our careers are thrown off track, finances run short, loved ones are lost, unexpected illnesses occur. Maybe we would do well to remember that no matter how we live our lives, the rains will fall on the “just” and the “unjust.”
We can try to weather them by ourselves—we have all done that before by putting God in that little box we all keep nearby. Perhaps we will try to fix them ourselves, again. Remember the last time we tried to do that? Or maybe a better approach is remembering His past faithfulness to us and His presence with us now, embrace the truth that in the midst of the storms of our lives, He is always with us and preparing us for something else, something better, something more with Him.
We can stay in the boat hanging onto the flailing rudder all by ourselves, hoping to make it through, hoping to eventually make it to shore. We’ve all done that before, just open your hands and look at the residue of calluses which linger there. Or, we can let Him into the boat—turn over control of the rudder to Him—and find ourselves immediately at the shore. The wind may still be blowing and the rain falling in torrents, but now it’s with our feet next to His, and on solid ground.
In 1873, when he had just learned that his four daughters had drowned as the result of the collision of two vessels in the Atlantic Ocean on their way to Europe, Horatio G. Spafford was no doubt about to experience the worst storm he would ever have to face. And even though he knew that his four daughters were now with their Heavenly Father, he probably had more reasons at that moment than most of us will ever have in a lifetime to throw God out of the boat, to take over control of the rudder himself, to turn from God and to reject the peace, power, presence and love of God in his life.
Instead, he wrote this:
“When peace like a river attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll; whatever my lot,
Thou hast taught me to say, it is well, it is well with my soul.
It is well…with my soul; It is well, it is well with my soul.”
No matter where we are in life, no matter what storms we face or find ourselves in the middle of—no matter the losses, the challenges, valleys, obstacles and the heartaches we are in the midst of, or see looming ominously out in front of us—we will all decide how we will choose to go through them.
With Him or without Him.
Let me suggest—with Him.
Invite Him—invite Jesus—into the boat. Turn the rudder over to Him and then see how long it takes you to get to the shore. But brace yourself first, because the scripture in the Gospel of Luke clearly says—
“And immediately the boat reached the shore…”
In His Name—Scott
Copyright 2014. Scott L. Whitaker. All rights reserved.