Matthew 28: 23-24 And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?”
Stress has a way of finding us when we least expect it. Smooth sailing on the open sea of life lands you in the middle of a storm as the weather changes in a matter of minutes. As you are floating along, it’s good to remember, as the storm approaches, (while you still have time) to get the life boat ready, tighten up your life vest, put your important items in your floating containers, and get fit for the task at hand because you can count on it, the boat is about to rock, and you’re about to get soaked. After the turbulents, settle and blue skys appear, you will be glad you were prepared.
Chronic illness is one storm that many encounter along the sea of life. It hits hard, and sometime comes with no warning. Those who embrace the storm prepared, may not ever see it subside totally, but they can ride the storm well in God’s life boat. Securely fastened in the life vest of His love, Jesus Christ, they will not drown, but they will get wet. Waves will crash around them, but as they take refuge in His love, they will feel His comfort and will not be swept under the currents of anxiety and fear. Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
In the storms that relationships can sometimes bring, your ocean may be full of the salty tears that you’ve cried over those you love. With Christ wrapped around our body tight, we can envision the rainbow after the storm and it helps us to know that “this too shall pass”. It is in these storms that we see the importance of change within ourselves vs. trying to change other people. With help, we can learn how to live in these storms without being destroyed by them. All the thunder and lightning that happens when a relationship is broken is scary and makes us feel vulnerable, but with our seat in the lifeboat, Jesus will show us how to swim if we get knocked off our feet and into the water. His truth promises in Deuteronomy 31:6 that He will never leave us or forsake us.
Another storm of change is the aging process. If we fail to accept this, and begin to go with the boat into dark waters, we will be harmed if we fall overboard. Plastic surgery, a younger spouse, a new home or a new job won’t stop the aging process. Even if we iron out all the wrinkles with plenty of botox our days are still numbered and death will eventually knock on our door. I don’t know about you, but I want to go with joy in my heart, and a smile on my face. I don’t want to go leaving a trail of heartache behind me from the pain I brought on my family because I couldn’t accept that I was getting older. The time you have left should be full of the eternal things of Christ that give deep fulfillment, not temporary pleasure. 2 Timothy 2:22 says, “So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.”
As the storms of change rage on in your life, make it count for Christ. Bring some others with you into the lifeboat. Give them a vest and together embrace the Father.