This beautiful article was written beautifully by my friend Jamie. I just had to share: (with permission, of course)
In a recent series at our church, we listened to a sermon based on Bible verse, Matthew 8:23-27, “23 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” 26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. 27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”
It’s hard, often times, to remember that He’s in the boat, and whatever our storm happens to be in that moment, he is still sovereign and He has to ability and the desire to calm them.
There are people who believe that God causes these storms in our lives, setting into motion these difficulties as punishment or as a result of our choices or actions. I however know that our God is a loving God who desires to be with us and to love us through our circumstances and in a way only He can. And when we are amidst the storms, we have to go within our hearts and remember, as Gungor’s song “Beautiful Things,” tells us, “You make beautiful things, you make beautiful things out of the dust; you make beautiful things, you make beautiful things out of us.”
But I want to take this a step forward and think about ourselves, as I feel Jesus desires us to think. When our friend, or family member, or EVEN a former enemy begins feeling the waves of life, and their boat begins to rock, how do we react? Do we stay in the boat, holding on to them and showing Jesus’ love during their struggles? Do we help steady their ship and help guide them through the waves and back onto the shore? Or do we jump ship, while hollering “good luck,” and silently being thankful that it isn’t our storm? I have reacted in both ways, and as ashamed as I am to admit it, I have reacted more often times by jumping overboard and getting as far away from their sinking ship as possible. But that’s not love. That’s the selfishness of an unfaithful coward. And, many times, I have been that unfaithful, selfish coward.
But my heart is changing. When I see someone hurting, I hurt, as well. My tears flow with theirs. I used to stand still, as a spectator, or even find myself running in the opposite direction. Jesus has been working on my heart so delicately and yet so deliberately. He has grown compassion and empathy into my heart. He has put me in the path of others’ whose ships I have been so eager to watch sink and be right out front to watch them fail, celebrate when they hurt and kick them when they are down. But, through the love of Jesus, now I am running to them, my arms open and heart full. And I find myself climbing into their ship. I want them to see and feel Jesus. I want them to know that Jesus is reaching out to calm their storm, and His love is flowing through me. As the song “Live Like That” from Sidewalk Prophets says, “Was I love, When no one else would show up, Was I Jesus to the least of us, Was my worship more than just a song. I want to live like that, And give it all I have, So that everything I say and do, Points to You.”Jesus shows his love to us, through us. We are the hands and feet. We are the heart of Jesus as our love flows though us, onto another. As 1 John 4:7 tells us,“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.”We are called to love one another. Regardless of our circumstances. And even from a boat.Be blessed, friends.