In Matthew chapter 14, we read that Jesus feeds the 5,000 from five loaves and two fishes. As soon as the crowd is fed Jesus sends His disciples into a boat and tells them to go ahead while He sends the people home. What's interesting to note is the Jesus knew the disciples would enter a storm, but there was a lesson for them to learn if they were willing to embrace the storm.
Of course, Jesus did not send these men into a storm to be mean or cruel but to grow and strengthen them. According to the parallel passage in Mark 6, Jesus never intended to stop, but was going to walk by them. I cannot say why, but perhaps it was to strengthen their faith. Yet the interesting part to the story is when they saw Him and realized who He was they called out to Him, and He answered without hesitation. Peter cries out to Jesus and asks to come to Him to which Jesus agrees. Peter did what no other human has ever done, he walked on the water but like many of us would have, he let the strength of the wind distract his sight. As he began to sink He cried out and was delivered but not without a gentle rebuke, "O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?"
Storms are a natural part of life and something that will be experienced by everyone at one point or another in their lifetime. They are to be expected but are never looked forward to. Though it cannot be avoided, we can be prepared but not as you may expect. When a ship is built all possible scenarios are taken into consideration and the necessary steps are provided. We are given all we need to weather any storm we may encounter and it is found in God's Word. He gives us all that is necessary to succeed. As we dig deeper into the Word we will learn more about who God is, His character and very nature. We learn that in order to grow there will be a time of testing. Only when a boat is set into the water do we know it can float, and the same goes for us. If we never faced a storm we would never know if our faith will float. That is why storms are necessary and dare I say, essential to the growth of our faith. If a boat enters the water and a leak is discovered then it can be repaired. Our reaction to a storm reveals any leaks in our faith. For example, if our first response is one of grumbling or complaint then we have not matured. I know that my response when things go wrong or things become chaotic is usually not the best. I can be irritable and that is a shame on me because it shows that I do not trust in God. Am I forgetting Romas 8:28, where it says that ALL things, the good and the bad, work together for good? What would happen if we simply embraced the storm and prepared our hearts to learn whatever it was God intended for us? What if we dug deeper into God's Word and sought His will for us during this season? What if our desire was to grow in whatever circumstances He placed us in?
Sometimes I wonder what the disciples missed out on in this storm, and what Jesus had wanted them to learn about Him? This is something I struggle with personally because of my personality, I am by nature a planner and I despise it when things don't go according to plan. I get very irritable and upset because things are not going the way I want them to, or better yet, how I think they should go. Instead I should realize that God never wastes a storm, each has a purpose in my life and instead of resisting it I should learn to embrace it. Please understand that I am not saying we should be eager for a storm to take place but that when they do come we should adjust our perspective and keep our eyes on the One who sent it. I came across a wonderful quote many years ago and it has stayed with me.
"Being a Christian does not mean we will never face a storm, but that we are in a boat that cannot sink."
What a wonderful truth, no matter the size of the waves and the speed of the wind that rage around me, my boat is upheld by the same hands that formed those winds and waves and nothing can harm me while I am held within those loving hands. I pray that when the next storm comes, as it will, that I will embrace it, ready to learn what God wants me to, and grow in my faith as I keep my eyes on Him.
I am just an ordinary girl who is loved by an extraordinary God and I seek to love others the same way. I love to bake, read, do puzzles, watch Hallmark movies, and go shopping with my mom! This blog was created as a place where I could share some thoughts that the Lord has shown me and to be an encouragement to others who desire to know Him in a deeper way. My prayer is to learn to sit still and trust God with my future.
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