Steve’s Devotional – What is Your Storm?
JULY 19, 2023
What is your storm? Maybe it’s a struggle with cancer, a broken marriage or a painful loss. In Matthew 14, Jesus’ disciples were in a tough storm of their own--scared and unsure.
Before we go on, I want you to notice the reason the disciples were in a storm in the first place. They did what Jesus told them to do. Frankly, that doesn’t seem right to me. We’ve been taught that when we’re faithful, things will go well. That is a lie. Sometimes when you’re faithful, things go wrong.
If you’re facing a real storm right now and if you’re like me, you may believe that you did something wrong. And if you could just do something right, then the storm would end. The truth is, your storm may be the result of doing something right.
Now what did the disciples overlook in their storm? It’s a good reminder to us. And there is help.
Their storm had a script. The wind ceased because it had accomplished what God had ordained. There was an agenda. There was a script. And God wrote that storm’s script.
Your storm is not an accident. God is in control of it. He has a reason for your storm and even though you may not know the reason right now, when it is finished, it will be finished. Whatever your storm, there is a God-given script.
Your storm has a beginning and an end. It is under the total control of God and you really can trust him.
Peter had a problem. To him, the storm was more real than the Savior. Peter simply didn’t understand that Jesus was the reality, not the waves. Because of that, Peter looked at the waves…instead of him.
Look at Jesus…not at your storm. What’s the reality? The reality is that there’s a God. He is your reality, not your storm. If you keep your eyes on God, you can deal with everything else. The disciples forgot about the Savior. Make sure you don’t forget.
When there is no solution, Jesus is the solution. I’ve been in storms about which I couldn’t do a single thing. I tried to make it work. I tried to get it together…but it simply didn’t happen.
Sometimes we confuse the solution with the problem. The disciples did this when they mistook Jesus for a ghost. The fact is, sometimes solutions come wrapped in problems. So what do you do? If God is the reality and the Savior, then you keep going…all the while trusting what he’s doing in your life.
When I was a kid, we once had a bird that flew into a tree. (That was a dumb bird. Birds ought to be able to deal with trees.) Anyway, the bird hit the tree, broke a wing and helplessly flapped around on the ground. I tried to pick up the bird to help him, but he kept pushing himself under the bushes trying to get away from me. I kept saying, “I want to help…but you keep running away.” Accept your storm. It may be that wrapped in your storm is the solution.
Jesus said to Peter, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” He didn’t say that in a vacuum. Jesus had just fed 5,000 people with five loaves and two fish. Peter really shouldn’t have doubted. Peter should have known–he saw Jesus perform a miracle–but he still had his doubts.
We’re like that too.
Remember Joshua 4? God held back the Jordan River and the people of God walked through the dry riverbed. God then told them to take 12 stones and put them in the middle of the river and up on the side so people could see them. So later when their children came along and asked, “What’s the meaning of these stones?” they would explain, “Those stones represent the time we walked across a dry riverbed in a miraculous way because God is the God of his people.” Put your own stones in the middle of the Jordan.
I can see Peter, years later, going to the cross to be crucified upside down for his faith in Christ. Peter was fleeing Rome and he met Jesus. Jesus asked him, “Where are you going?” Peter turned back, remembering what Jesus had done for him…and then later died for his faith. Peter is a good friend of mine and I know what went through his mind. Peter thought about God’s faithfulness in the past. And because he knew the God of the past, he could trust the God of the present. Has God ever let you down? Write down his times of faithfulness and remember them. They’re the stones you put in the middle of the Jordan. And, like Peter, because you have known the God of the past, you can trust the God of the present and the God of the future.
We were created to worship, praise and glorify God. That is our main business. That is the source of our meaning.
We are called to sing…in the middle of our storm.
A bird doesn’t have a reason to sing. A bird sings because it has a song.
You have a song too.
Time to Draw Away
Read Joshua 4 / Psalm 23 / Psalm 139
What is your storm? What are your stones? Make a list of God’s faithfulness in the past as a reminder in the present and the future. He was faithful. He is faithful. He will be faithful. God really can be trusted. Your loving Father holds, comforts and helps you. And he has promised.