When life storms, boy does it storm! I can fully relate to the disciples when they asked Jesus in Mark 4:38b AMP, “Master, do you not care that we are perishing?” Knowing that I had strived and done everything right, I couldn’t help but ask, “Why was I facing this situation? And when did it even get to be so huge that I was completely gripped with fear and despair!”
In Mark 4:35-38, the disciples and Jesus were in the boat crossing over to the other side. They had done everything that they knew to be right, so when the storm came, they were completely taken by surprise! Their reaction is exactly how I have reacted in plenty of situations where I have found myself hitting many a brick wall! They were completely gripped with fear that they were going to die! To their amazement, unlike their reaction, Jesus was sound asleep (Mark 4:38a), completely unperturbed by the storm despite how huge and unsettling the situation was progressively becoming in that boat. They could not understand how He could be sound asleep while they were facing a situation that was very quickly turning into a matter of life and death! Hence their question in Mark 4:38b.
I have also always been curious! How can anybody be so peacefully asleep in such turmoil? Even though the obvious answer would be that both Jesus and the disciples reaction was natural, seeing as the disciples were human and Jesus was the Son of God. But I’ve always felt that there was so much more to learn from these two adverse reactions than what it looks like on pen and paper. My curiosity led me to an excellent teaching by Joyce Meyer that finally shed much needed light to this important reading and helped me understand why my life was storming!
All the dreams and visions we hold within ourselves are given to us by God and when we take the bold step of trusting and building on them, our new venture begins. I had decided to do just that and trust God to help me build the vision He had placed in me. Just like the disciples when Jesus told them to go with Him to the other side, my expectation was that it was going to be an easy journey because I had God on my side. I have quickly learned that this is a very wrong assumption. Receiving the vision is the easy part and brings so much excitment, but the journey to achieving that vision is where all the hard work takes place and this is the place where you will either create resilience and see it come to pass or you will quit! It’s the place that Joyce Meyer refers to as “the middle”! The beginning and the end are exciting but the middle is riddled with fear and discouragement and it takes determination and a resolve not to quit that’s powered by radical faith that eventually brings us the victory we so desperately seek.
When our lives storm, they bring on a level of fear that brings out the worst in us! They bring out all the negative feelings like despair, anger, frustration, impatience, jealousy, selfishness, greed, feeling sorry for ourselves and the list goes on! All these negative feelings are supposed to come out of us in order for them to be healed in us. When we make a resolve right from the beginning, not to quit, no matter how tough it gets and choose to have faith and trust in the process, we are able to create endurance for the storms in order for them to do the full work in us that will bring the healing we need before we are can receive what God wants to give us. James 1:2-4 AMP says, “Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations. Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience. But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing.
Jesus knew this and as He gets up and calms the storm in Mark 4:39, He turns to His disciples and says to them in Mark 4:40, “Why are you so timid and fearful? How is it that you have no faith (no firmly relying trust)?”
It’s clear that we cannot win the war on the turmoil that erupts in us as we maneuver through these storms without having faith. Faith is what gives us the ability to trust the process and gives us hope that “this too shall pass”.
In my next post, I will share with you how I am learning to release my faith as I surrender to the process and accept the storms of life as it’s now become clear that they actually happen for us and not against us!