Monday, June 1, 2020

Calming the Stormy Seas of Life

Matthew 8:23-27 
King James Version
23 And when he was entered into a ship, 
his disciples followed him.
24 And, behold, 
there arose a great tempest in the sea, 
insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: 
but he was asleep.
25 And his disciples came to him, 
and awoke him, saying, 
Lord, save us: we perish.
26 And he saith unto them, 
Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? 
Then he arose, 
and rebuked the winds and the sea; 
and there was a great calm.
27 But the men marvelled, saying, 
What manner of man is this, 
that even the winds and the sea obey him!

In the stormy sea of my life, Jesus had always been in charge.

If He wasn't, I don't believe I would have survived all the experiences, dangers, challenges, slings, and arrows.

JESUS made sure I survived all that, because I was meant to write about it, and to share my testimony with you.

He knew my life had to be a rich broth of material for the work I needed to do for Him.

Thus, He was pleased that I finally accepted His invitation to listen, and learn from Him, and to love Him, too.

In a far-off dream, I SAW Him.

He had His hands stretched low at His sides, gazing at me.

He stood, in place of the emerald altar, at my favorite open-air, circular chapel in the big city.

That dream took place many years ago, but earth time is but a twinkling in God's eye, and is just a nano-second.

At another time, Jesus showed Himself as my "landlord", where a young girl (myself) was shown typing at a corner of the room, and my "landlord" was showing me around, as I was in search of a "home".

At the end of that "tour", my "landlord" waited for me at a light-filled doorway.

But first, I was to pass a theater-like area, where everyone was watching a film. I knew where I needed to go, as my "landlord" was waiting for me.

That tour was U-shaped, so I know I merely go back, where I "came from".

I am no one more special, than you are.

Perhaps, all I've got is this ability to pay attention to EVERYTHING important around me, whatever my soul leads me to. 

Perhaps, that is what GOD wants.

That I pay attention to His signs, clues, and prompts.

He created me, so He created EVERY circumstance of my life.

How I addressed such stuff, how I behaved, how I responded, or reacted, was my own decision.

There could be no shortcuts in life.

What learning would take place if there were shortcuts?

No matter how tough your life may be, there is a reason for everything.

You are being honed, like a sword to fire, shaped, strengthened, by circumstances, your correct attitudes, and by the Spirit of God.

You will not be left without assistance.

One prayer is all it takes to receive the help you need.

It may not be what you asked for, but it will surely be what the LORD knows you need.

Only God sees the big picture.

Our CREATOR has perfect vision; we don't.

Be kind to yourself.

Given the knowledge you have at that exact moment, you are responding to your circumstances.

There is no need to blame anyone.

Find the lesson instead.

What is God trying to tell you, when things are going wrong for you?

Perhaps, you lost a job, lost a spouse, lost friends, lost money, got sick, or nothing seems to work.

What is God really trying to tell you?

Have you noticed that it is only when we "lose" something, that we seem to pay attention?

Sure, some get mad at God, some get mad at others, some get mad at self.

And when you're all spent, after all that blaming, what else is there to do?

What humbled us so?

Wasn't it the Spirit of God who tries to wake us up, so we can go back to Him?

So we can finally see the importance of Christ in our lives?

So we can really see things, people, and the world for all that they are?

If awful things didn't happen to us, we'd think we're okay.

We'd just keep doing the things we used to do before.

Seeing the same people we used to see before.

Doing the every day routine we all have.

But what happens when suddenly our boat is rocked?

Or there's a storm that appeared from nowhere?

Or our boat's in danger of capsizing?

Or people are in a panic inside our boat?

The boat could be you, your home, your work, your community, your nation, the world, even the universe.

What if things didn't feel so secure anymore?

What if worldwide financial loss occurred, like right now?

What if disease occurred, as in the past months?

What if we couldn't travel anymore, like in the previous months?

What if rioting and discontent occurred, like yesterday?

What if nothing seems to make sense anymore, and every day seems to bring new challenges?

A few days ago, a mild earthquake shook our city, with the epicenter just an hour's drive away -- in a city where I don't believe earthquakes normally occur.

People must not panic.

All we have to do is trust God.

We must trust our FATHER, the CREATOR.

Jesus was calm, and asleep, when His apostles woke Him up, alarmed that they may perish.

At any time the LORD sees fit, all our challenges in this stormy sea of life, can be righted.

But why, not yet?

Because it's not time.

Our love for God, our love for each other, and our faiths are being tested.

Who is for, or against God?

Who is for, or against their brothers, and sisters?

When all is clear, the sky will become clear.

The boat will float gently, all over again.

Right now, we are all being "shaken" from our stupor, from our greed, from our vain pre-occupations, from our lack of love, from our useless pursuits.

The stormy sea of our lives will right itself, when we right ourselves with God.

For myself, I am living the simplest life possible, "grounded" and "anchored" in God, listening to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit, as He continuously teaches me about Christ each day, each moment.

And my prayer is ALWAYS to follow Jesus' instructions -- alone.

The world cannot make me do what God won't ask me to do, so beware what you ask of your brothers and sisters.

By that very act, or intention, God is testing your spirit.

I trust in JESUS alone.

Related material:

Related video: Charles F. Stanley on "Our Anchor in Times of Storm".

Updated 6 February 2024