I was at a writer’s conference once and started chatting with the person in line behind me. No surprise there. My dad says I could carry on a conversation with a block wall. It’s a family trait 🙂
Anyway, this lady and I had a pleasant conversation about life, family, her writing, my writing. Nothing spectacular. I didn’t think anything more of it than a friendly moment in time.
I finished getting my food and sat at a table when one of the other guests touched my arm.
“You looked like you were having a pretty good conversation with Angie Hunt.”
Angie Hunt? Angela Hunt! Award winning author of over one-hundred books!!
So the pleasant little conversation suddenly changed to one of those shocked moments that you write down in your journal to share with all of your posterity and even devote a blog-post to it 🙂
Knowing WHO she was, changed the way I saw the situation.It wasn’t just a sweet little moment in my day. It was momentous. Knowing WHO she was made a BIG difference on my perspective.
There’s a familiar story in the Bible about Jesus calming the sea. (And though Angela Hunt loves Jesus, knowing her and knowing HIM are two very different things 😉
To paraphrase the Gospels, here we go:
The disciples follow Jesus onto a boat and they head out onto the sea. A big storm whips up out of nowhere, so dangerous that the disciples start to freak out. They start crying out for help, and where is Jesus? In the middle of the howling wind, crashing waves, and pelting rain…sleeping!!
The disciples wake him up and say something like, “Don’t you care that we’re all going to die?”So…Jesus tells the storm to hush up. And it does. Then he looks at his disciples and says, “Oh you of little faith. Why are you so afraid?”
Now some Gospels put Jesus’ rebuke before the calming of the storm and some after. Just imagine Jesus waking from his nap to the hurricane-like conditions and screaming through the wind at the disciples. “Why are you afraid?”
I can only imagine the disciples giving him a look like Jesus, have you seen the size of those waves? This is NOT a dream. We’re going to DIE!
When Jesus calms the storm with his words, the disciples start to freak out in a very different way, because they suddenly were struck with the truth about WHO Jesus really was. The external storm on the water suddenly flew inside their hearts. Whoa! Jesus’ words brought calm to the chaos, as God- The Creator’s- words brought order to the chaos of the universe. Proving that he truly was, who he’d said he was. Spectacular.
So, in one respect, Jesus is saying: If you guys really knew who I was, you’d be able to sleep through a storm too.
There are a few poignant truths in this story.
1. The storm wasn’t a shock to Jesus. He knew it was going to happen and went to sleep anyway.
2. Knowing who Jesus really is, helps us see the storms of life from a new perspective.
Jesus leads us into storms sometimes to refine our faith. So the question is, how do we respond in the middle of the storm? It’s easy to view in hindsight, or predict your response in foresight, but what about in the very middle when the hurt, fear, worry, and grief are the greatest?
This was convicting to me, because if I really know Him, worry becomes obsolete and fear melts into a minor obstacle. His peace settles a heart during the most frightening storm or by streams of living water and green pastures. My heart should find rest in either/or.
The great thing is – he wants us to get to know him better, because he wants us to rest in him.
Psalm 62:1 reads: “My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him.”
Psalm 119:1: Blessed are they that keep his statutes and seek him with all their hearts.”
Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
When we know WHO holds us, who loves us, who guides us through the storm – then our perspective on the power of the storm changes and our security in the Maker of the storm overcomes our fear.
May we take this verse to heart and find rest in His promises:
Deuteronomy 33:27 “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.”