Sometimes life can be daunting…there is much that is unknown…unseen…uncharted.
There have been times in the last year where I have looked into the future and it seemed just that…daunting.
There were areas of struggle that didn’t seem to diminish…at times intensified…and when the pressure let up…the struggle was still present…seemingly untouched…
My scripture for almost two years has been II Timothy 1: 12:
“That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.”
Faith is all about being convinced in who or what we believe.
Over the last couple of years, I have had to remember that God will guard that which I entrust to Him…my very life, my husband, my children, my extended family and friends, my needs…
But so often I can get ahead of myself and ask…what if “this” happens or 5 years from now…”what if”…
I can trust Him in the “what if’s” and in the 5 years from now…but mostly I just need to trust Him for this day…
When my Mom turned 50 and I turned 30, we celebrated by spending a weekend at a bed and breakfast. Carlen was a month from turning 5 and Courtney was 1. It was definitely intensive parenting. I was exhausted.
I remember asking my Mom at breakfast our last morning together,
“Mom, when did you stop feeling so tired?”
I leaned in towards her to hear her answer.
“I remember having so much more energy…”
Yes, Mom…I said inwardly…tell me when…
“…when you and your brother left home.”
I didn’t cry…but I felt like it…I was crushed…I thought perhaps she would say…when my brother and I were in school or something with a closer date. But she didn’t…she spoke the truth…a truth that I didn’t really want to consider.
We have laughed about this dozens of times…in many ways, it was unlike my Mom to answer this way…not considering her audience…but she spoke from experience.
So often, I can look at what is before me and find discouragement. The other day, I counted incorrectly the years that Caleb would be in elementary school and when I combined it with my age…I almost hyperventilated. My only consolation is that Carl is 5 years older than me…just kidding. But this is silly, we are not Sarah and Abraham or Elizabeth and Zechariah by any stretch…we just need to take one day at a time. He equipped them…so He will equip us as well.
I spent sometime this morning reading Mark 4: 35-41. One of three accounts where Jesus calms the storm…I can’t seem to “get away” from this portion of scripture so I haven’t tried…in fact, I think it is supposed to become a part of my daily life.
Here’s the account:
35That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
39He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
40He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
41They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
This is a little bit of what I wrote in my journal this morning:
Jesus said…Let’s go to the other side…they left the crowd, they took Jesus along and got in the boat with him.
I wonder as a believer, this is what we do when we come to believe in Him…we leave the crowd behind…the crowd…it could be people, our previous life, habits…we decide that now we will take Him along with us in our lives and Jesus readily gets in the boat with us…He climbs into our lives…just as he is…just as He IS…indeed. Then the storms come…storms which if we have listened well, we knew were going to come, we have been forewarned…just because we now follow Him and don’t hang out with our old crowd will give us new trials. But somehow we are caught by surprise…we become afraid…we don’t think we can make it another moment…we think we will die because of the storms and perhaps we might rather that fate…finally we decide to look to Jesus and what is He doing…nothing we surmise…He’s sleeping…He seems distant…almost absent…unmoved to our peril…but the truth that somehow escapes us in our panicked state is that He is resting on the Truth that He promised the other side. He spoke in authority…in confidence. But we get angry…Don’t You care? I hate that I have felt like this before. But Jesus has come to be with me in the storm and also if it is His will to calm or stop the storms that I will go through. I think God is teaching me I need to take Him at His Word that He is taking me to the other side…a new shore.
As I approach this new year, it is a time to reflect and a time to push out into new waters.
My prayer for you and for myself is that we will embrace these words…Let us go to the other side…
I don’t know what that other side is for you…it could be laying aside areas that have held you in captivity…perhaps trusting Him in the midst of your current trial…it could be surrendering to following Him each and every day that one day you will get to the ultimate other side…the most precious shore of all.
Blessed New Year…it is indeed blessed because Jesus is here…jumping into our lives…and that is something to shout about…light firecrackers…bang pans about and all that jazz!
“God will let you laugh again,
you’ll raise the roof with shouts of joy.”
Job 8: 21 (MSG)