One of the greatest lessons anyone learns growing up is that life ain’t always easy. If you’ve not learned that lesson yet, just give it time. The news is a constant reminder of this truth. Social media is a deluge of hopelessness and hardship on any given day as well. So what’s it look like for a Follower of Christ to navigate the seas of life when the skies grow dark and the waves are rising all around us?
I. VIEW EVERY SITUATION THROUGH THE LENS OF JESUS PERSON
Nothing is bigger than Jesus, it just feels that way. Like in the story of Jesus walking on the water in John 6, it’s easy to feel like the disciples and believe that Jesus is unaware of your situation. It’s also tempting to think that he is also overwhelmed by what engulfs you.
In these moments we need to step back, take a deep breathe and remember who Jesus is – GOD. There is nothing greater than the greatness of Jesus. He is the God over all storms and he remains so no matter how hard the wind blows and how difficult it is to row.
Remember, likewise that Jesus is also good. He is neither overpowered, nor unaware; he is also not unconcerned. He loves us very much. Never forget, he gave his life, in love to save us. He was swallowed up by the storm of sin, he endured the waves of the Father’s wrath. He is good; he is aware, he understands and has good for us in the end. His gaze never leaves his bride.
II. IN ALL THINGS OPERATE UNDER THE ASSUMPTION OF JESUS POWER
The Christian life is not about how well you can row. When we live under the false hope of our own strength we soon find ourselves physically, emotionally and spiritually drained. We are saved by the power of God, so we are to operate in the power of God. “Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.” (Eph 6:10).
The Followers strength is found in acknowledging our weakness and leaning into his might. In all things look to his power. Pray to and trust in his overcoming, ultimate power. It is Jesus who quiets the wind and stills the waves. He is Lord over all creation. He is Lord of all situations and circumstances.
Additionally, he calms the sea of our churning souls. Quiet possibly the darkest and roughest parts of your life are inside of you. Jesus is Lord of our hearts as well. Go to him with your inward needs. Look to his power when you’re angry, anxious and despairing. Bring him your addictions, emotions, imbalances and issues because he cares for you.
III. RECEIVE DIFFICULTY AS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR JESUS INSTRUCTION
How did Jesus’ disciples wind up out in the sea in the first place? He sent them there. Why? He had something for them to learn. Something about his person, his power and ultimately his provision.
Sometimes Jesus stops the storms. More times though he leads us into them; inviting us to walk with him upon the sea. Jesus desire is for us to have more and more of him in our lives; more joy, more fullness – more him. He will do what he needs to do to remove anything else in our lives that we use to try and stay afloat with other than him. Our career, intellect, health, beauty, relationships…anything we look to other than him for our identity, strength and hope. Idols, are like life vests and Jesus, in love, is out to deflate them. This takes time, the Holy Spirit and quite often storms, but his intention is to rescue us and lead us to his shores. In the wisdom of Mr Beaver, “He is not safe, but he is good.” What is Jesus currently aiming to teach you about his person, power and provision currently?
You rule the raging of the sea; when its waves rise, you still them. – Psalm 89:9
Loving Father, Gracious Son and Enabling Spirit,
Move our hearts to worship and trust in your greatness. Grow us in our reliance and confidence in your power over our own. Give us a desire to learn in the midst difficulty and a certainty that runs to your love not from it when life overwhelms us. Amen