And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. (Matthew 14:28-29)
Storms show you who God is, who you are, and who others are. God is the only one who remains with you throughout the intensity and duration of all of your storms. He’s ever-faithful. You may not always feel the Lord’s presence in a storm. It’s especially during these times that you must be mindful to live by faith and not by feelings. As the winds of adversity howl and the waves of destruction pound against you, rest your faith on the Word of God. His promises are your anchor in the midst of a storm-tossed sea.
Relying on God and not yourself in the midst of a storm requires that you allow God to dismantle the storm shelters you’ve constructed to protect yourself (i.e., people, places and things). You must expose yourself to the elements of the storm by stepping out of the boat of your comfort zone, and trusting God to take care of you. It’s at the height of a storm that your demise seems imminent. However, what is intended for your destruction proves to be a source of strength.
I’m reminded of an old song that says, “I can see clearly now the rain is gone. I can see all obstacles in my way. All of the dark clouds have passed me by. It’s gonna be a bright, bright, sun-shiny day.” It’s with the passing of each storm that I realize I’ve gained new strength.
Stormy seasons are a necessary part of our Christian walk. There are times when Jesus speaks to, and quiets the storm. At other times, He speaks to, and quiets you in the midst of the storm. Remembrance of God’s faithfulness can enable you to withstand storms that come your way.
I still experience sudden gusts of wind that take my breath away, and crashing waves that knock me off track. However, I’m happy to report that my recovery period doesn’t take as long as it used to.
As you continue to grow in Christ, the storms won’t abate. God is trying to get you to the point where you don’t just go through a storm; you grow through, and trust God even in the midst of uncertainty and turmoil. A strong foundation in Christ enables you to weather even the worst of storms. Growth is a process whereby you learn to see yourself on the other side while still in the midst of a storm. You’re maturing when instead of asking “Why,” you learn to ask, “What am I supposed to learn from this?” as you keep pressing forward.
As new storms arise, recall and remind yourself of the storms Jesus has already brought you through. Remember, just as Jesus saw His disciples struggling in the midst of the storm-tossed sea and came to see about them, He sees you through your storms. You must learn to recognize Jesus, and fix your eyes on Him in the midst of stormy seasons. When you do, just like Peter, when Jesus says “Come,” you can step out on faith and walk above the waters of your circumstances.
Stepping out on faith with you,
Rev. Cynthia Jackson