Storms in our Lives
Monday night our extended church family and the community suffered a tragedy when two cars collided and lives were lost. The Bouge family has been on our hearts since then and will continue to be as this tragedy unfolds further.
Tuesday night we experienced violent, but brief, storms that came through and left many without power and several with damage to homes or property. Following the storms, I received a text message from a family member that read, “Y’all ok? Make it through the storms ok?”
The question was intended to be about the weather, but my mind went immediately to the wreck, the more tragic of the two storms. The truth is that the storms in our lives that pack the most punch have nothing to do with driving rain, damaging wind, or high pressure systems. The storms that do the most damage don’t rattle the shutters, they rattle our hearts, and often our faith.
Jesus over Storms
The good news is that we have a couple of pictures in which Jesus interacted with storms in Scripture. In one, he is with the disciples (Matthew 8) and in the other he comes to the disciples (Matthew 14). In both, he calmed the storm.
Matthew 8:26—…Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm.
Matthew 14:25, 32—And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea…When they got into the boat, the wind stopped.
We have been rattled this week. Our faith has been challenged. In the midst of each storm we encounter, let us take heart that Jesus is with us and is in complete control. And let us also remember that every storm is temporary, but our Rock, Christ Jesus, is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).
Trusting in God is not something we do once for salvation. It is not a one-time decision that ensures our continual trust in Him. Trusting God is something we have to do every day, and multiple times throughout the day. It is a constant act of placing ourselves in His care and submitting our desires and decisions to His will.
As Abram found out in following God’s call and promise to make him a great nation, trust was going to have to come through multiple battles, not one war. The Lord had told him to go from his country and family and all he had ever known to somewhere he had never seen (and never would) (Gen. 12:1). He had also promised that He would make Abram a great nation and bless all the families of the earth through him (12:2-3).
“So Abram went, as the LORD had told him,” (12:4). This shows tremendous trust on Abram’s part. The Lord had only given him a word, but Abram believed it. He clung to it. God’s word was precious to him because on it he staked all of his family, his desires, and his future.
But just because Abram trusted God then didn’t mean that his trust in God was locked up for the future. In other words, Abram’s trust in God by leaving his homeland did not mean that he wouldn’t fail to trust God in other battles that would require it. Only a few verses later we see a battle of trust he loses.
There is a famine in the land (12:10), so Abram and his wife (Sarai) head down to Egypt. As they enter, he tells his wife to pretend she’s his sister. Why? She’s beautiful and they will desire her. This is his thought: “When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me, but they will let you live,” (12:12).
Now, that sounds like a logical thought on Abram’s part, but there’s one huge problem: God has promised that he will make Abram a great nation. God has not done that yet, so Abram will not die. This is an issue of trust. Does Abram not believe now that God will do what He has promised? Is God incapable? Has He changed and will now not do what He said?
This says more about Abram’s belief about God than anything. He’s failing to trust. Things that are logical in our minds are not even variables in God’s plan. For this reason He tells us:
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 53:8-9)
Every day you will be faced with battles in which to trust God. You do not need to help Him fulfill His word. He will do it regardless of your tendencies toward self-preservation. He does not need your ingenuity and shrewd planning. Just trust Him. He will do it.