The Storms of Life
Our current times are certainly testing, difficult for some, and overwhelming for others. Are you finding challenges in seeing the blessings that are around you?
Many times, when faced with the storms of life, it is impossible to see, much less find, the rainbows and sunshine. Even in times of beautiful weather we often seek those gifts we don’t own or want what we do not have. However, the good still exists whether the storm is approaching, we are in the middle of it, or it has passed. There is nothing to fear if we hold and place our full faith in Christ. It is in this place that we celebrate whose we are, instead of asking for what we don’t have. For finding the rainbows and feeling the sunshine is possible to claim with the joy of what we hold in what God is doing in our presence with His presence, even if we can’t see it.
A few weeks ago, I took a leap of faith and moved. This was not only a new place but one in a new state that I don’t know a lot about amid national chaos and a pandemic. The details of how this came about aren’t important to this illustration, but I will say that I passionately believe that the process was God-led. When faced with the less than sure things of life, it is easy to get off track and have difficulty with not only finding rainbows but just seeing the horizon.
Finding the Correct Focus
Life in the realms of the unknown are daunting and sometimes overwhelming. Learning new things or relearning how to do things differently often feels like drinking water with a firehose. But as I look to the challenges, such as no Internet services among other things, this move brought on, I can say equally say that the rainbows and sunshine are just as evident. It is important in times of storms to keep our focus on the only one that can see us safely to the other side. For when we get out of our lane or off course attempting to take on things that God just doesn’t expect us to do, we sometimes will find ourselves sinking.
In this week’s focus verse, we look to the story of Jesus walking on water and Peter trying to. It is clear in these scripture verses that keeping focused on Christ is the only way. It is the only way to walk, not only on water but on dry land too. But perhaps it is important for us to remember that Christ isn’t always asking us to walk on the water. This is not to say we can’t if this is His will and purpose. But we must remember, too, that when the storms surround us and the rising waters of confusion are upon us, we aren’t left to solve life’s problems alone. For sometimes in the storms, it is more important that we just stay in the boat and ride.
Staying Afloat in the Boat
Rev. Dr. Derek Weber, Director of Preaching Ministries with the United Methodist Church, recently pointed out that perhaps Peter didn’t fail to walk on water because he couldn’t, but because he got out of the boat. Christ asks each of us to simply trust in His presence even when we can’t feel it. There are many times that we simply hold no external reason to believe that Christ is with us. It is during these times that we just need to remain in the boat and ride. Dr. Weber points out that there are times that we, like Peter, would like to walk on the water. But most of the time God asks us to simply ride out the storm to the other side.
When we become afraid or concerned about the troubles around us or feel life is overwhelming us, too often, doubt creeps in and discounts the presence of Christ or His ability to help us. But it is exactly during these times that we must remember that He is always with us and is the only one who can really help. For when we decide to walk on the water or solve our own problems without fully focusing on Him, we are often dragged down into the troubled water. Therefore, it is important to remember our salvation and just stay in the boat focusing on God’s goodness, even in the darkest of days and storms, for this is the process in finding and seeing the rainbows.
But Jesus spoke to them at once, “Don’t be afraid, He said. “Take courage I am here!”Matthew 14:27 (NLT)
The Process of Finding Rainbows
The Apostle Paul tells us this in much the same way in Romans 10:8. God’s salvation is right in front of us and He will come to us wherever we are. We just need to respond by accepting His gift of salvation. It is in this finding and claiming what we already have and own that we see things differently. Christ comes to us and we don’t have to do miraculous things for God, just faithful things. We won’t fall into the water unless we don’t recognize God by His presence.
So, when we feel overwhelmed it is more important to choose to look to God and the things that are full of the goodness of life. This is the process of finding the rainbows and feeling the sunshine of life. It is changing our perspective and seeing things from above rather than below. This is where we find the goodness of God, His greatness, love, fairness, and kindness. When we look at things from God’s point of view, we focus our attention on Him and His Word. This is how we can just stay in the boat and ride out the storm knowing that His presence is there.
So, when the challenges of life are upon you, challenge yourself to remember the words of David from Psalm 27:13, “I know that I will live to see the Lord’s goodness in this present life.” (GNT) This conviction rooted in scripture is a great reminder to refocus on Christ, stay in the boat, and know His purpose in your life is greater than whatever problem or storm that you are facing. This helps motivate you to stay the course as you allow His presence to comfort you knowing that nothing can stand between you and God once, you claim His name.
It is great to be back and I hope all of you are well. But even if you are facing more storms than others, remember sometimes it is best to just stay seated in the boat.
Love in Christ,
If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed, look within, you’ll be depressed. If you look at God, you’ll be at rest.Corrie ten Boom, survivor of the Nazi death camps.
What are Your Thoughts?
Are you facing challenges finding the rainbows and sunshine around you? Do you find it difficult to just stay in the boat trusting in His Presence? Share your thoughts on finding rainbows and sunshine during the storms of life.