I would be the first to admit that I don’t always understand the paths that God leads me down, His purposes for leading me down those paths, or the methods He uses to get me on the paths that he wants me to be on. I try to remind myself from time to time what the Bible says in Proverbs 3:5-6. In this passage it says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take”. (New Living Translation) When I was younger I often failed to heed this advice, and I ended up taking routes that put me in places in life that were not what God intended for me. What I have learned over the years however is that even when we follow the direction that God wants to take us, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will always be smooth sailing! There are times that even when we follow what we feel is God’s path for us, we are bombarded with difficulties and challenges. Have you ever taken a step in faith to follow God’s direction, only to soon be faced with a major storm in your life? Times like these can leave you wondering why God led you down a path that seems to be destined for failure. If you can relate to this, and you are in one of those stormy places in the sea of life…relax! Don’t be afraid, God is in your boat.
When Jesus came to earth and dwelt among men, He was literally God in the flesh. He lived and dwelt on earth and had the form of a human, and the nature of God. The Gospel of John refers to Jesus as The Word. The very first verse in the Gospel of John says, “ In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (New Living Translation) Because Jesus was literally God, the creator of the Heavens and the Earth, He had authority over any storm that could ever arise! Let me share with you a story from the Bible that brings this all into perspective, and offers a few valuable lessons for us. There is an awesome passage of scripture in the Gospel of Luke that tells about the power of Jesus to calm a storm. Take a look at this passage from Luke’s Gospel in the Bible…
One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and started out. As they sailed across, Jesus settled down for a nap. But soon a fierce storm came down on the lake. The boat was filling with water, and they were in real danger.The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and the raging waves. Suddenly the storm stopped and all was calm. Then he asked them, “Where is your faith?”The disciples were terrified and amazed. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “When he gives a command, even the wind and waves obey him!” (Luke 8:22-25)
There are some great truths that we should take from this passage of scripture that can be applied to any challenge, adversity, or “storm” that we face in life. I will list them separately for you to consider.
1. Jesus said, “ Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” I would like to suggest to you that there are times in life that God wants to take us to a different place! It is vitally important that we listen to the voice of God so that we may be able to know where he wants to lead us. If we don’t listen to the still small voice of God, we will often stay stuck in a place where God doesn’t want us to be. When the disciples boarded the boat to sail to the other side of the lake, they were doing so at the direction of Jesus (God). If you are in a place in life where it seems like you are facing a sea of turmoil and unfulfilled dreams, maybe you simply need to listen to God’s voice and his direction. He may want to take you to the other side of the mountain that you face. Get in the boat and go with Jesus to the other side.
2. A violent storm soon came upon the scene, and the disciples feared that they were doomed. How many times have you been in this situation? Even after following God’s leading in your life, you can come to a place in your life where the storms of life rage violently and totally rock your boat. It’s in difficult times in life like this that we often become afraid and fear that the stormy waves of life are going to sink our boat and drown us. Major storms and hardships in life often leave us asking ourselves, “ Where is God when I really need him?” I’m sure that the disciples were thinking this same thing. What they seemed to forget, or perhaps simply failed to understand, was that God was in the boat with them. Jesus, even though he was asleep, was well aware of what was taking place, and He was in complete control of the situation. In tough places in your life, have you ever felt like God was asleep on the job? Rest assure, if God truly led you to the place in life that you are in, He is also fully aware of what you are facing. If God brought you to it, He can bring you through it.
3. Jesus woke up; he rebuked the wind and the raging waves. Suddenly the storm stopped and all was calm. Then He asked them, “Where is your faith?” It is interesting that we as Christians sometimes pray for God’s direction in our lives, and when we feel as if we know what God wants us to do, and the place that He wants to take us, we often forget that He is right there with us. God will never give you directions in life and send you out on the journey alone. In this story about the disciples in the boat, when the strong winds started to blow and the raging waters started filling the boat, Jesus demonstrated His authority over the winds and the waters. He had authority over them because He created them! When we face the storms of life, God still asks us today “Where is your faith?” We cannot allow ourselves to get overwhelmed by our storms and become drowned by our fears. We must always remind ourselves that God is in the boat with us. We are not alone. Deuteronomy 31:6 reads, “So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
In summary of all of this, I urge you to remember that if we do as God instructs us to do in Proverbs, and we don’t lean on our own understanding, God will lead us down the paths that are best for us. Keep in mind that even though you have followed God’s leading and direction, that doesn’t mean there won’t be an occasional storm that you have to face in life. The good news is that when we place our trust in God, He is always in the boat of our life, and just in time God can calm any storm that we face. God knows all about the storm that rages around your boat. Don’t be afraid! God is in your boat!
Thanks for reading!
Until next time,