Can we all agree that life is just really hard sometimes.
Doors open and others close, you get your wisdom teeth out and come to find you have complications that worsen the pain, you are job searching trying to find your place in the world, the upstairs neighbors play loud music and wake you up at 6am on the daily, the washer and dryer decide to call it quits, you are driving in the dark and hit a rock( *cough small boulder) and all of a sudden a lot of money is coming out of your wallet among other unexpected events. ( Oh? sorry.. am I ranting?”)
All of the twists and turns that life brings are becoming to feel like too much, and the light at the end of the tunnel becomes dimmer and dimmer. As you are clinging to your narrow path, all of a sudden in all of the exhaustion of trying to “fix” you come to realize that you are weak, tired, hopeless, and don’t have much more to give.
Somewhere along the way for me I have come to realize that through the exhaustion of trying to keep up with life and looking to Christ to keep me afloat, slowly but surely little lies have seeped in to tarnish my understanding of who God is.
In my prayers he has asked me this: Do you not know the one who calms the storm?
In Mark 4:35-41
Nightfall has come and the disciples enter into a boat with Jesus, and not long after a windstorm comes that has the waves crashing into the boat. Water starts to fill inside and what is Jesus doing in all of this? Sleeping… The disciples go and wake him to say “ Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” ( v. 38) And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “ Peace! Be still!” and the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. (v.39) Jesus then ask the disciples “ Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” (v.40)
Lately I have been the disciples where I am in the storms of life and I am looking around frantically as I see the water filling my boat, and I call out in fear and frustration “Where are you?!?”.
The problem that I am finding is that I know enough about God to know that he is my ultimate provider, that he is sovereign over all, that he is my creator, that he is the only true source of peace. What I have found is that I can call him by all of these names, and yet when my storm seems too much to bear I crumble and doubt if my God is who he says he is.
In this very moment, my faith is being tested. God is asking me the very question he asked the disciples “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?”. I want to retort back and say “ I have been hanging in there! I cling to your words, I fight to rebuke the lies, I am working out my salvation in fear and trembling as you have called me to do! When will you rebuke the wind? When will you yell to the sea and command it to be still?”
Somewhere along the way, I have believed the lie that God is here to fix my problems, take away trials at my convenience, and pride has surfaced as if I deserve something from him.
When the disciples saw Jesus end the storm their response was this “ And they were filled with great fear and said to one another “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him.” (v.41)
God is not my mystical Genie where I go to him for wishes and he is at my command. He does not have to fix my problems when I ask, and as I look back any problem I have ever had has always without a doubt been taken care of by him.
I am in awe that in the storms of life as crashing waves come down and fear takes over, God can use those moments to reveal to us our very own hearts. That a crashing wave becomes something that takes us down from pride to open our eyes , that rain becomes something to wash us clean, and that our security is not found in a weak wavering wooden boat. Instead, our security is found in the strength of a rock that is unwavering.
So as my storm continues and I take a deep breath I am humbled to be brought low. I am humbled that the God of my life is not this weak God that is at my beck and call. Instead my God is one who can take my harsh words threaded with anger and hurt, he can take my pride and gently bring me to my knees, and he is the only one who can calm the storms that billow before me to remind me that I am his forevermore.