My feet pounded the concrete a little harder on my run this morning because I just wasn’t feeling it at all. I was unmotivated, uninterested, and I wanted to quit all together. But every time I thought about quitting I was immediately encouraged by my “oh so joyful pup” kissing my elbow (yes, our dog is that large…we have a Dane) as if he was trying to say over and over again, “Mommy, we are on a run! Thank you for taking me on a run mommy! Mommy this is the best day ever! Mommy, please don’t’ quit because this is so much fun.” Needless to say, I didn’t give up because I knew not only was the run good for me but it was good for our puppy or should I say “soon to be horse” too.
I kept running our usual rout with my cheerleader of a dog next to my side and as we came down the hill I looked at the scenery before me. In the distance pass the tree line lingered storm clouds that were roughly a few hours away. My consciousness reminded me of what my dad told me yesterday over the phone, “You need to look at the weather honey because I am pretty sure that bad stuff is heading in your direction.” I was thankful for his warning. I was also thankful for the fact that the storm was still in the distance giving me enough time to get inside the house before the bottom fell out.
After all of these thoughts scampered through my overly active brain for 5:30 in the morning the Lord reminded me of a time that our family had our boat on the water when I was a little girl. We lived on St. Simons Island at the time and it was one of my favorite places in the world. We were able to go out on the ocean in our 24 foot, blue and white cabin boat every weekend. We got to go fishing, sunbathing, and playing with dolphins. I am not sure if the dolphins followed any other boat on the water but for whatever reason, they loved our boat. They would even come so close that we were able to pet them. My mom was too scared for us to get into the water but we got to lean down and feel their rubbery, slippery, soft skin often. We loved the dolphins and had a blast being a part of their world as much as they would let us.
On one of our family weekend adventures we decided to go to Jekyll Island for the weekend. We made all of the preparations needed such as packing enough food, drinks, clothing, fish bate, and checking the weather to make sure that there were no storms heading our way to destroy our weekend. We trusted the weathermen and headed out onto the water for another adventure. All I can say is, “We should not have trusted the weather man” because in the middle of the day, Saturday, we were in a very sticky situation. The storm clouds rolled in faster than the blink of an eye. We were on the open water and we were the tallest point on the water. The clouds were black, the sky cracked and boomed, and the lightening show was awesome but one of the scariest ones I have ever seen because of how close we were too each strike to the water. My mom ordered my brother and I to go in the cabin for safety and it didn’t take very long for me to obey because I was extremely frightened. I thought, “this is it, the Lord is about to take our whole family.”
The storm only lasted about twenty minutes but those twenty minutes felt like an eternity. We couldn’t see in any direction because it was raining so hard and the wind was blowing violently. I whispered to myself, “Why can’t one of those dolphins we saw just grab the rope tide to our boat and pull us to safety?” As soon as those words left my mouth the storm started to break up some. My family sung praises as the storm started to move in order to give us some breathing room. The rain slowed down, we were able to see in all directions, a taller boat was in our midst, and we were able to follow it to a nearby marina for safety before the next wave of storms we saw coming at a distance reached us. We were able to stay the night at the marina, and gas up for the trip back home. God was definitely watching over our family because it could have been a very disastrous situation.
Matthew 8 reveals a very similar situation that the disciples went through with Jesus. Matthew 8: 23-27 states:
“And when He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but He was asleep. And they went and woke Him, saying, “Save us, Lord: we are perishing.” And He said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then He rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even the winds and sea obey Him?”
Many of you have probably heard this story tons of times. There was a great storm, Jesus was sleeping, the disciples were scared for their life and called out to Jesus, and Jesus calms the storm. You have probably heard pastors/teachers talk about “how in the world could Jesus sleep through such a storm.” The story is a very familiar one. I often think about this story and wonder why Jesus allowed them to get on the boat and be lead into the storm. I am sure that He knew that the storm was coming. I am sure that he knew that the disciples were going to be freaked out. So, why did He allow this situation to happen? Why did He allow them to float into a potentially life threatening situation?
Every time I think about the story the same thought comes to mind and it is one that I can’t shake and that I just have to share with all of you, wonderful people. Jesus wanted the disciples to understand the extent of His majesty. Here me out…up until this point the disciples had seen Jesus do many miracles. They had seen Him turn water into wine, heal the sick, and more. They may have thought, “Wow, that is cool.” But Jesus knew that their faith was still weak. They needed to be strengthened. Even though they had seen Jesus do many miraculous sings and wonders they were still skeptical. They still had their doubts. But who could deny the fact that that Jesus really was who He said He was when even the winds and waves obey His commands.
Matthew 8: 27, “And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even the winds and sea obey Him?” Now, I can’t speak for Jesus because I am not Him but I just keep seeing in this story that maybe, just maybe, He lead them into the storm so that they could see the extent of His majesty… “That even the winds and the waves obey Him.”
Friends, we go through difficult things in life and wonder, “God, why is this happening to me?” And friends I cannot answer that question. I know things happen that we will NEVER understand. There is an enemy that is after us every second of the day that tries to take us out. We also have a sovereign God over our lives and everything that happens to us does go through Him because He is in control over everything. So, it is hard to say why all the difficult things happen. But the more I think about it the more I just keep thinking that maybe bad things happen, the storms come, so that we can see just how sovereign He is…. That even cancer has to bow down to Him, that even death flees at the sound of His name, that finances have to fall into place at His command… “That even the winds and the waves obey Him.”
Friends, God is over all and not everything we go through makes sense and that is why it is VITAL to stay close to Him. He can see the storms coming…whether we have years, months, days, hours, or seconds to prepare…HE KNOWS ALL AND IS OVER ALL. We need to stay close to Him because with Him by our side we NEVER have to fear the storm because He can at any time make it stop. Now, some of you are wondering… “Why doesn’t He always stop the storm? Why is it still coming at me? Why is my family member still ill of cancer? Why am I still struggling financially?” Again, I can’t answer every question but I do know that this life is better with God in it than not! He is our comfort, He is our healer, and He has plans for each of our lives. And don’t forget that one day, “He will make ALL things new!” Eventually, everything that has happened bad in this world He will make right! I don’t know about you but I am holding on to the ONE who HOLDS EVERYTHING IN HIS HANDS!