Faithful Through the Storm
Photo by: F. Romero
But the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. And in the fourth watch of the night, he came to them walking on the sea. -Matthew 14:24-25
Jesus spoke to them saying. "Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid" - Matthew 14:27
I am sure that this months theme comes to no surprise to you as we celebrate one of my favorite holidays; Thanksgiving. I try to live my life being thankful for the many blessings surrounding me. Family, friends, life, health, strength, the list goes on and on.
But you see the thing is, it is extremely easy to be thankful in the good times. Of course while everything is going the way we would like for it to go, being cheerful is second nature.
But what happens when we face a storm?
This life that we all live can guarantee rainy days. Not one of us are exempt from experiencing pain, sadness, or stress. We all have a choice when it comes to how we handle these situations. Now I do not want this to be an "easier said than done" kind of post. Trust me, I have been through the storm several times in my life.
It is NOW that I am learning, and putting into practice how to not only be thankful, but to praise God through the storms that come, and will resurface in this life that I am living. I've found that when I focus on what I have to be grateful, and thankful for, the storm doesn't seem that cloudy after all.
You know I like to keep it real with you guys, cause ya know "Real recognize real!" My husband and I went through a point in our marriage where we were not connecting emotionally. Because I am an emotional being this devastated me. I would spend hours of my day focusing on how far apart from each other we felt. I would replay conversations in my head over and over again. I was draining myself and making the whole situation worst.
And then I was reminded that there is always something to be grateful for. I began to thank God for the things that were going well in our relationship. The more I began to focus on the positive, the more I saw change. Although it was stormy, I forced myself to be thankful for what was good.
The opening quote is from one of my favorite bible stories. The disciples were on a high. They just witnessed Jesus do one of the most told miracles of the bible (three fish and five loafs of bread, five thousand people fed.) I'm sure they were on a natural high, loving life, but little did they know a storm would soon come.
The bible says that after the miracle was performed, the disciples all got in a boat to their next destination, when suddenly a storm hit. The boat was long away from the land, and was beaten by the waves. Man I know when I'm in the storm the waves can feel like they are literally smacking the crap out of me. You can only image how terrified the disciples were.
But then the bible says "He came to them walking on the waves." The very thing that was beating them up, Jesus was walking on, like the boss that he is. He could've swam, or even floated, but I like to think that he walked on those waves to show them, and us that he was and always is in control of the very thing that they felt was bringing them down, and slapping them around.
Through your storm you can find courage and strength in the fact that Jesus is in control. He is above your storm. Now if there was anytime for a praise break it would be now.
The disciples are human so of course they were like "Yo bro, a ghost is coming at us." (paraphrasing) And they were afraid. This shows that you can be walking with God on the regular like they were, and still in a moment of distraught, forget who he is and what he is capable of. It also shows that it is natural to know God, and still have a little fear... but then Jesus says;
"Take heart; it is I, do not be afraid."
Now Jesus could have said "Uh hello, ain't ya'll see me perform that miracle earlier? You still have the nerve to be afraid? Don't you know I'm good?" But instead he is so gentle. He is so comforting.
Let's be thankful that in the mist of the storm, we know Jesus is controlling the waves, and he will never give us more than we can handle. Let's be thankful that he cares and is always waiting to say "Do not be afraid."
As I shared earlier, I too go through storms, and they can be extremely discouraging. But I firmly believe that finding something to be grateful for, even if it's the clothes on your back, can bring you joy in the mist of the waves.
Let's work together to make this not just a November thing, but an all year around thing. Find something to be grateful for, and even if you have to remind yourself of that one thing one thousand times a day, push yourself. A little thankfulness goes a long way!