Have you ever been in a plane during a storm? The captain comes on the loud speaker and will make an announcement warning you that there will be turbulence ahead but that he is trying to navigate around or climb above the storm. Then….as promised…the turbulence will ensue. It will be uncomfortable but you have the constant reassurance of the captain along the way telling you it’s okay. He has a plan. Then finally when you feel like you can’t handle it anymore you reach that height above the storm and the plane is still and peaceful. Out the window is this gorgeous view of a violent storm below and beautiful clouds around you. Depending on the time of day you can see a beautiful pink sky or a piercing moon that is so calming. It’s like nothing you can describe. You are above the storm. All is well.
I think of this experience like walking with God. In John 16:33 Jesus says, “I’ve told you this so that my peace will be with you. In the world you’ll have trouble. But cheer up! I have overcome the world.” (GWT) He warns us of the turbulence ahead. A different translation of the same scripture reads, “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” (NASB) Like the captain of the plane in the previous example Jesus warns of what is ahead but also gives comfort and assurance that it will all be okay.
Raelee and I read a children’s story before bed recently. It was about a little bird named Firebird (because his feathers looked like the sun). Firebird LOVED sunny days but got so so sad on rainy stormy days and couldn’t understand why God allowed stormy days to come. He asked his momma over and over why? Why does God let this happen? And his momma would always smile. One day she finally told him he needed to fly up there and find out. He was so scared but he got up the courage and flew. He thought he wouldn’t make it through the crazy furious storm but when he finally broke through he experienced that same peace! It was beautiful! He finally understood.
God doesn’t CAUSE every storm. He does allow some. But through the storm He is ALWAYS there and ALWAYS in control. If you look up and keep your eyes above the storm and on Him – not only will the storm pass quickly – but you will have peace and rest in Him.
The Lord speaks to me through music a lot. I LOVE worshiping our King. I cannot get enough worship! It is truly a way of life. There is a song by Bethel Music called “I Can Feel You.” Some of the lyrics that really captivate me are, “The wind and waves surround me and I’m tossed, feel like I’m drowning. I’m tired, I’m weak. I need You here with me; ’cause I can feel the rising tides but I don’t have the strength to fight. I feel clouded and confused. I need You here with me. In the chaos of the storm I have drifted far, far away; but I call out Your name cause You are just a breath, a breath away. then through the shadows Your light appears. I’ve known You’re with me but now it’s clear. I can feel You Jesus all around…..” Don’t we all feel like that sometimes? I think that when the storms of life come and we are most vulnerable it is so easy to step away from the Lord. It’s so easy to get lost in the storm. And sometimes it happens without you even being aware.
“My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? Why are you so far away from helping me, so far away from the words of my groaning?” Psalm 22:1. “About three o’clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” Matthew 27:46. “The king stood up, tore his clothes, and lay down on the ground. All his servants were standing beside him with their clothes torn to show their grief.” 2 Samuel 13:31. Grief, mourning, being really, really, REALLY upset…that is nothing new to God. God is actually REALLY okay with that. You can find this all over the bible. As a matter of fact God is even okay with doubt….as long as you are open with Him about it. Bring that to Him. I can GUARANTEE He will comfort you in your trial and not only that but He wants to reassure you. He wants you to talk to Him and put your trust in Him! There’s NOTHING you can’t bring to God. You absolutely CANNOT shock Him. He’s heard and seen it all and Jesus has been through pretty much every type of trial. Just give Him a shot! Let Him take the controls…I bet He’s better at navigating this plane of life than we are!
Another AMAZING worship song that resonates in my heart when I think about the storms of life is Hillsong United’s song “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail).” The lyrics are, “You call me out upon the waters; The great unknown, where feet may fail. And there I find You in the mystery in oceans deep my faith will stand. And I will call upon Your name…And keep my eyes above the waves. When oceans rise my soul will rest in Your embrace. For I am Yours and You are mine! Your grace abounds in deepest waters. Your sovereign hand will be my guide. Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me, You’ve never failed and You won’t start now…” He HAS NEVER FAILED! Why would He start now? Think about that. I don’t know what storm you are facing right now. I know that my storm seems impossible at times. But I just want to ask you something. Why would you want to face it alone? It’s never too late to ask God to step in. Ask Him to pilot your plane to safety. The song goes on to say, “Spirit lead me where my trust is without boarders, let me walk upon the waters wherever You would call me…” I want that. I want that kind of relationship with the Lord. I want that freeing, no walls, “all my cards are in so take my hand, Lord” kind of walk.
That verse in the song makes me think of Matthew 14:22-33 when Peter walks on the water with Jesus. Earlier I said that we need to look up and keep our eyes above the storm on the Lord! Here in Matthew 14 Jesus and the disciples had just come off of a time full of sadness and miracles. This was the period of time that John the Baptist was beheaded, when Jesus fed FIVE THOUSAND PEOPLE with just five loaves of bread and two fish, and He healed many sick as well. Then Jesus sent the disciples out on a boat in the middle of a large lake while He went up on a mountainside to pray. While Jesus prayed it was very windy on the lake. The wind was growing stronger and stronger. Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them. He WALKED on the lake to them. When the disciples saw Him they were so afraid! They thought He was a ghost! But Jesus calmed them and said, “Take courage. It is I. Do not be afraid.” Peter replied, “Lord, if it’s you tell me to come to you on the water.” Jesus said, “Come” and Peter stepped out on the water. But when he focused on the wind and waves and took his eyes off of Jesus, he began to sink.
Isn’t this how it works with us as well? As long as we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, we will have power to walk above the storms of life. If you falter you begin to lose your footing. But don’t give up! You can ALWAYS call out to Jesus!! God can always calm the wind and waves. The Lord can cease your storm. He will help you balance in this world. He will calm the raging seas and set you on dry land again. Place your faith, hope, and trust in Jesus (without borders) and you will find your strength renewed. Just like the storybook Raelee and I read about little Firebird, you too will soar above the clouds and above the storms! Once you try it God’s way you will never want to look at the waves again.