Storms can be an exciting wonder at the same time they can be quite intimidating and cause for concern. I am always amazed how close storm chasers get to those storms and get them on video. However, for me, I wouldn’t and dare not get that close. My son Joel loves them and is a storm chaser in his own right. My son Micah is growing to be the same way; but me, I am on the other spectrum. Maybe that is why God has given me those two boys! In order for me to learn how to accept, as well as grow through the storms of life. They say we can learn something from every one.
In the book of Matthew chapter 14, Jesus had just finished addressing the “stormy” need for food by feeding five thousand with five (5) loves of bread and two (2) fish. He then goes up to a mountain to pray and send his disciples across the sea and into a storm! That’s right, when you read the account where Jesus sends them a storm swiftly comes upon them and this storm is so tumultuous that the disciples are at sea crying for help wondering if they are going to live through this one. Things then take a sudden change.
Jesus comes to them in the midst of their storm and lets them know that all will be well. In their cry Jesus comes and more than that He calls one of them (Peter) to Him and Peter keeping his eyes steadfast upon the savior does the miraculous in the midst of the storm: Peter walks on water holding the Savior’s hand.
You know, life is just like this experience. God, allows storms to come into our lives in order that we may learn and know that He will come to us, as we cry out to Him, and not only calm the “sea” of our troubles but also help us rise to the occasion and walk through the difficulty in a very miraculously wonderful way.
However sometimes like Peter, when trouble strikes, we forget our knowledge of God too. We struggle to recall past answers to prayer, specific guidance provided by the Holy Spirit, and lessons learned in previous crises. Only the present seems real. Our minds spin with future implications, and our troubled emotions inhibit clear thinking. Then suddenly we remember God, prompted by His Spirit of course and once again remember who it is that can help us get up again after we have sunken in despair because we have allowed circumstances to get our eyes off of Him!
In our own strength, we lack sufficient resources and abilities to meet life’s challenges. So God provides what we need. Our suffering is never a surprise to the Lord. He knows everything we are going through. More than that, He’s orchestrating our circumstances for His glory and our benefit, according to His good will. We must remember that.
Reflecting on the divine purpose in hardship can help us respond to trials in a God-honoring way. Let’s take a moment to fix our attention on the Lord and seek to understand the lessons He wants us to learn through life’s dark moments.
No one enjoys suffering. But in the hands of almighty God, trials become tools. He uses hardship to shape believers into the people He intends them to be. Jesus allowed the disciples to experience the fear and anxiety of being in a boat on a raging sea. He permitted them to suffer because He had something far more important to teach them. He wanted the disciples to recognize their own helplessness, His sufficiency, and their dependence on Him. He asked Peter to come to Him in order that Peter exercise faith in Him. And so it is with us. In the midst of our troubles He calls us to come to Him in order that we exercise our faith in Him and as a result experience His sweet deliverance. We must keep our eyes fixed on Him! When we do, it gives God the open door to help us to have the opportunity to experience something great!
David Guerrero, Speaker/Director Rekindle the Flame Ministries