3/11/2020 – Pastor Brian’s Blog –
Judy went to the hospital yesterday to have her knee replaced. If this is something that you have never done before, it can cause a little angst. Although you know your surgeon, do you really know them? How often have you met with him? Maybe 2 or 3 times at the most. How many written recommendations did you receive from other patients saying that this doctor is really good and they highly recommend him? Uh, make that none!
Then you meet those people that I call, “in Job’s ‘friends’ family tree.” Those people that warn you about all the things that could go wrong, or the difficulties that they experienced with their knee replacement. Maybe they never had the operation, but they know of people that have. They know how much longer it took their friend to rehabilitate, worse yet, their friend said that if they had to do it over, they would have kept their old knees!
Our church has taken a HUGE step of faith to hire an assistant pastor. We are not a large church, and there is no way that this will work out unless God shows up. Now there are some people within our church that when they see the direction we are headed in, when they see circumstances change or the money not come in as promised, well, let’s just say that it is causing them a little apprehension. Notice how we like to use words like apprehension or angst rather than use the word worry, but that might be a blog for another time.
This “angst” or “apprehension” or “worry” is not new to those of us that follow after God… Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” Matthew 8:24-25
This storm was not just another storm… Matthew writes that this was “a furious storm,” and it came “without warning.” It was so furious that it scared the heebie-jeebies out of twelve men that Jesus Himself had handpicked to help change the world with Him. Even a veteran fishermen like Peter felt as if his life was passing before his eyes!
I don’t know about you, but I like the familiar. I like my regular car mechanic Jeremy, because I know that he will treat me fair. Although I am not crazy about going to the dentist, I like my dentist because I know she will not hurt me!! I like the fact that I have my own knees.
I find that it is way easier to step out in faith knowing that if God doesn’t show up, I have my own backup plan that I can go to. Yet it is totally different to step out on faith when you have to trust God totally, without a back up plan. I like it when life goes as planned, when the boat ride is calm without a single ripple.
Yet… that is not real life! We live in a very stormy world. Look around and you see an array of “furious storms” such as the Coronavirus, the stock market meltdown, seemingly incompetent people running for political office, strained marriages, wars and rumors of wars, suicides, dysfunctional families, broken hearts, lonely evenings and you have to consider that personal storm that you are going through right now.
So how does one live a storm-free life? You don’t! So what is a person to do? You do exactly what the disciples did in their storm. When the waves get rough, don’t run for your life; run to the one that gave up His life, for you.
Satan wants us to turn our eyes to our storms, God wants us to turn our focus on Him. Satan wants us to give up, God wants to walk with us through the storm, just like He did with the disciples, with Moses, with Jonah, and like He has done with many others throughout the annals of time. There has never been a storm when God was not ready to help one of His children.
But you know what is even better than running to God in your storm? It is to know that if you are walking with Him, you don’t have to run, because God has already found you… “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.” 2 Chronicles 16:9
So be encouraged today! Whatever storm you might find yourself in, know that there has never been a storm that God can’t handle. Spend more time working on getting to know God better and less time looking at the storms, and you will be surprised how much calmer the storms look…