When I reflect back to my time in the wilderness, I don’t think about how challenging it was, I think on the lessons I learned. I learned every time we go through something, we grow through something. If we pay attention, the lessons we learn are valuable and the relationship we can develop with Christ Jesus while growing through is priceless! A relationship with Jesus can provide continuous nourishment in life’s storms. I am not talking about going to church every week or if your parents told you about God. I am talking about “knowing God” in a up close and personal way. I learned that I can be content in any situation when I am in touch with my Savior. I learned how to lean on Jesus when my strength is gone. I learned the only way to get through the storm is to go through it and to let Jesus lead the way. Sometimes it’s not about God stopping the storm, it’s about God changing you during the storm.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
“A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24)
“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:11-13)
There may be days when you are on top of the world, and some days you may feel like the world is on top of you. God is not like people, with you in the good times and nowhere to be seen when things get rough. God is with us at all times, good days, and the not so good days. The issues of life can weigh heavy on our shoulders. Health issues, financial issues, children issues, job issues, family issues and relationship issues; they can occur one at a time or all of them at once. I remember during times like that my mother would say, “when it rains it pours or if it ain’t one thang it’s another.” Sometimes the storm is so bad the enemy will have you doubting that God is powerful enough to calm it. He will have you thinking that it is impossible to have peace at a time like this. Oh. but. you. can. God’s peace is always possible, even when we are going through storm after storm. We can have God’s peace through any situation or circumstances. Jesus left peace with us. The Holy Spirit is alive and living within us. We just have to tap into it. I know when we get overwhelmed because of the chaos of life, it’s easy to forget that Jesus is standing in the middle of the storm with us. No matter what we are going through, He is there. And if He is there, so is peace. God is peace. He is there in the storms next to us ready and waiting for us to reach out to Him. The same Jesus that calmed the raging storms for the frightened disciples is the same Jesus today. That same Jesus reaches out to us in our storms to come to Him as He did Peter. He lives within us through the Holy Spirit. The question is will you be like Peter and step out the boat even if you are afraid?
“Peace, I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)
“If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever, the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” (John 14:15-31)
“Lord, if it’s you,”Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water, and came toward Jesus. (Matthew 14;28-29)
Turning to God means humbling ourselves and admitting that we cannot handle the situation in our own strength. This can be hard if you are the type of person who has to be in control. (I was) It means trusting God to handle it how He sees fit, knowing that He knows what is best for us. We have to put our faith in only Him and know He is with us in the valleys as well as the mountain tops. Oh yes sometimes we may cry, I shed many tears. But Jesus was always there to comfort me. Sometimes we may get upset, but the Holy Spirit will calm us. It is not easy to find peace in the mist of the storms, especially when they are coming at you like tornadoes. It takes the courage to keep moving forward even with tears in your eyes. God will give you the strength to make it another minute, another hour and then another day. He gives us what we need when we need it. The good news is each time you make it through; it strengthens you more and builds your resilience and faith. Someone said that faith is not faith until it has been tested. In difficult times, we may not understand life and its unfairness. When feeling overwhelmed for what we cannot understand, we must trust God as we grow through. Then we will have peace instead of anxiety and worry, no matter the circumstance. In Genesis 9, God sealed His promise with a rainbow in the sky. In the midst of the devastation from the flood of judgment, there was a beautiful rainbow in the sky symbolizing God’s gracious promise! God did not promise we will never experience storms, but He has promised He will be with us during them. P.S. (I also learned that the brightest rainbows appear after the darkest storm. Love and Blessings…
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” (1 Peter 5:6)
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:33-34)
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
“But those who trust in the Lord for help will find their strength renewed. They will rise on wings like eagles; they will run and not get weary; they will walk and not grow weak.” (Isaiah 40:31)
“To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory.” (Isaiah 61:3)