Have you ever really struggled to trust and believe that God is who he says he is? I know I’ve been in that place several times and in the midst, found myself wondering how I got there.
Growing up in the church but never really having a personal relationship with God until later in life, it occured to me that just going to church was not enough. My mother would talk to me about God as a young girl however, I figured that that was something people did as they got older. As I grew up, experiencing life as a believer was harder than I thought. My belief was that if I am following Jesus and doing all that I can to live right, then why am I facing hardships and trials. Well, Jesus did say that we would face trials and tribulations in life first because he did. But, he also said not to be alarmed or shaken because he has already overcome the world. I love this! So now, whenever I face something I feel is difficult, unfair, or trivial; this gives me comfort to keep going and know that Jesus knows what I am facing and is right there with me.
The other night I was reading the story of the fisherman on the water and how Jesus was right there with the, in the boat as the storms raged around them. Jesus was asleep and because of this the fisherman felt as if Jesus didn’t care about them. They were yelling, “Wake up! Don’t you care that a storm is raging around us and the waves are almost about to overtake our boat?” So as Jesus woke up, he asked them what they were afraid of? Is it because they forgot who Jesus was and what he had already accomplished. The fisherman had seen with their own eyes miracles that Jesus had performed and yet still had little faith. “Ye of little faith.” And just like that with two words he calmed the storm and the waves, “Be Still.”
“Be still and know that I am God.”
Have you ever found yourself in a situation like this? The storms of life are raging and you have things coming at you from every which way. Deadlines, the kids are acting up, you get a flat tire, you are feeling left out of conversations among your friends, your boss at work is requesting an assignment done by the end of the week, you and your spouse are fighting, and so forth. It is in these moments that Jesus reminds us that regardless of what is going on around us, He is constant. Have faith. Trust him. In these moments he is asking us to be still.
There was a time specifically that I can remember not to long ago. I’ll take you back about 7 years ago as I was a nursing student in college, married, and my children were much younger. I had set a personal goal of graduating with a 4.0 and so therefore knew it would take a great deal of work. My days started at 5am, kids dropped off by 6:30, I needed to be at the hospital by 7, rounds until 1pm, head to school for afternoon class, out by 5pm, picked up the kids, home, dinner, baths, bedtime, and then I would study until 1am. This was my schedule for about 2 1/2 years. To be honest I don’t know how I managed to do all that except by the grace of God.
So, one evening, I had a paper due the next day and one of my kiddos was sick. I was up most of the night with him, and typing what little of my paper I could in between cleaning up throw up. I remember being almost done with my paper and completely forgot to save it. I jumped up in a hurry, and from there, I don’t know what happened. Long story short, I had to type it all over again. I felt as if the weight of the world was on my shoulders. I was never going to complete this assignment and was totally ready to give up and accept a failing grade. But, like I mentioned earlier, I promised myself that I would try my hardest at all times no matter what that looked like. So, there I was, a couple hours before my paper was due, typing whatever came to mind and just trying to complete the assignment to have something to turn in. After all, I know my instructor was not going to accept an excuse of “I was up all night with a sick child.” …..I received an A on my paper but honestly was more concerned with my child feeling better. (For sake of time, he got better, and I graduated with a 4.0).
You know I could have easily gave up but I know that God had a plan for my life. He wanted me to face adversity which made me stronger, it helped me prepare for things he knew I would face later in life, it gave me courage and hope that I could get through hard things in life AND survive. Jesus knows everything that we face and nothing…not one thing… is a surprise for him. I’m so thankful for the hard.
We usually wish hard situation or trials away however we should be thankful and trust that God has a plan for using those in our life. May not always be the way that we would like, but he does.
Today, if you find yourself yelling from the boat like the disciples, in the middle of the ocean for the waves to be calmed, keep believing that Jesus will do exactly as he said he would. He will never leave you nor forsake you. He’s your pain breaker, way maker, comforter, healer, friend, heavenly father, and so much more. In the hard, keep the faith and don’t lose sight of the shore. Take his hand and allow him to lead you through the storm. But, in the meantime, find joy in those everyday situations and thank him.
I’m rooting for you.