Russell A. Cardwell Online

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March 21, 2007

Only Amid the Storms

by @ 11:00 pm. Filed under Epiphanies. [add to]

Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”

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.

The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”

—Matthew 8:23-27

Most of us would probably prefer to cruise placidly across still waters with our Savior asleep in the back of the boat. But it is only amid the storms that we truly see him as he really is. Only when we need deliverance are we truly aware of our Deliverer. His name means “God-with-us” and he walks beside us every day. But it is when we walk through the furnace that we feel his presence most palpably.

When the path is smooth and well-marked, it is tempting to rely upon our own understanding, and forget who it is in whom “we live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:28) God is master of all the storms and could easily prevent us from encountering any turbulence.

But God longs for relationship with us. And he has built into us a vacuum that only he can fill. It is in the storms we learn surrender. And it is in surrender we learn to trust fully in his love and protection.

It is when we can no longer carry ourselves that we see God as he really is—as he wants us to see him—not as an aloof stern God whose arms are folded, but as a loving Father whose arms stretch to enfold us; a God whose heart bursts with love when we call out, “Abba, Father,” like toddlers reaching upward to say, “Daddy, will you carry me?”

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