Friday, February 20, 2015

Rest in the Storm

My parents have had dogs since forever. I don't remember a time growing up when animals weren't a part of the family. When I was a teenager my dad gave my mom a miniature pinscher and they've been loyalists to that breed ever since. They currently have a little chocolate brown minpin named Nellie. She was a rescue dog, and is therefore skittish and wary of pretty much everything, and she hates storms. My memaw, who lives with my parents, wraps Nellie up in a towel and holds her whenever a big one rolls thru their area. This gives Nellie a sense of comfort and safety while the storm rages outside.
As much as I'd love memaw to wrap me up in a blanket and hold me during the storms of this life, she's got 47 years and minus 30 pounds on me. It's just not practical. And it would probably be awkward.

So, how do we find rest in life's storms?
When we've lost a loved one.
When our marriage is struggling.
When our children are rebelling.
When we don't know how the bills are going to get paid.
How do we rest??

I was up at my parents church several weeks ago and their pastor was wrapping up a series on rest. The morning I was there he was talking about how we rest in the storms.
In Mark 4:35 Jesus gets into a boat with his disciples and as a (literal) storm comes up on the water, Jesus is asleep in the back of the boat. How is it that Jesus was able to sleep during a "fierce storm"? He knew he was in his Father's hands.
We can rest in the storm because we know who's in control. Is it scary sometimes? You bet. But God is bigger than my fear. We tend to get a bit irrational in times of trouble. We think in extremes, make decisions based on emotion, play out worst-case-scenarios.
The disciples did this too.
The last part of verse 38 says, "The disciples woke him up shouting, 'Teacher, don't you care that we're going to drown?'"
Duh, guys. Of course he cares. He's Jesus.
But they were irrational.
"When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, 'Silence! Be still!' Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. Then he asked them, 'Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?'"
You see, at this point the disciples had been traveling with Jesus long enough to know who He was. They'd heard him preach. They'd seen him perform miracles; casting out demons, healing the paralyzed and the leprous.
But in this their storm, they're afraid.
"This is different, Jesus, because it's happening to us."
If we know who Jesus is, if we believe he is who he says he is, then we can rest in the storms. There will be storms. "In this world you will have trouble." But Jesus is bigger than any storm we will face. So, will I be like the disciples who over-reacted and became irrational?
Or will I follow my Father's example and rest?

I want to share with you this devotion from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young.

"Give up the illusion that you deserve a problem-free life. Part of you is still hungering for the resolution of all difficulties. This is a false hope! As I told My disciples, in the world you will have trouble. Link your hope not to problem solving in this life but to the promise of an eternity of problem-free life in heaven. Instead of seeking perfection in this fallen world, pour your energy into seeking Me: the Perfect One. It is possible to enjoy Me and glorify Me in the midst of adverse circumstances. In fact, My Light shines most brightly through believers who trust Me in the dark. That kind of trust is supernatural: a production of My indwelling Spirit. When things seem all wrong, trust me anyway. I am much less interested in right circumstances than in right responses to whatever comes your way."  (From Jesus Calling by Sarah Young)

John 16:33- "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

Deuteronomy 31:6- "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of [your storm], for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you."

Jesus cares. He's with you. And you're not going to drown.

1 comment:

Caitlyn Wymer said...

Hey. This is reaaaaally good.I especially love what you said about the disciples fearing because it was "their storm." I'm so the same way!