I’m paddling as fast as possible, but the boat isn’t moving in the right direction. I’m a strong, capable paddler, but nothing I’ve seen, heard, or learned is working, and the storm is filling the boat. I’m out of strength, out of breath, and out of hope. I need more than help. I need rescuing.
Sound familiar? Matthew 14: 22- 34 describes the disciples in a similar situation on the Sea of Galilee in a severe storm, sinking their boat despite their combined strength and experience. Walking on the waves, Jesus comes to calm their fears, using the storm to challenge their faith.
But why did he send them into the storm in the first place? Surely he knew they would encounter the storm, so why send them? Why does God allow storms in our lives if he can calm each one?
Perhaps the better question is, what will I learn by going through the storm that I can’t or won’t learn because of my stubbornness any other way?
Like many men, I like to see myself as a strong and capable paddler. I know my limits, or I think I do. Consequently, given a choice, I wouldn’t have left the shore for fear of that storm.
However, each day I pray for God to grow my faith, trust, and obedience in Him. Do you see my dilemma? To know God’s love for me, and trust His presence and power in me, requires that I become a student in the storm.
My dependence upon my strengths would never allow me to make such a leap of faith; these kinds of storms are too formidable. Knowing this, God loves me too much to let fear and lack of faith confine me at the water’s edge while longing for a deeper relationship with Him.
Truth be told, my self-reliant choices have caused many of these storms. Others by something or someone else. Either way, I’m learning that being a student in the storm teaches me to trust His work, making me into His beloved son, just like Jesus.
If you’re in the middle of a storm today, trust God to see you through it, and look for the faith He’s developing in you because of it.
“Immediately, Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” Matthew 14:32-33
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