Life can be a series of calm and storm. Often times when I find myself in the midst of the storm I lose sight of the bigger picture. The fact that I serve a God who calmed the storm.
Just imagine this: Jesus has just spent the day teaching crowds of people along the shore of the sea of Galilee. He's been sitting in a boat because the crowds were so big. It's now evening and Jesus says to his disciples, "Let us go over to the other side." So they hop in the boat with Jesus, it's dark and they're heading to the other side. There's also some other boats around. Suddenly a furious squall comes up and the waves break over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. I'd be freaking out, worried I was going to drown, worried this would be the end of me. Yet in all this commotion Jesus is in the stern sleeping...he's sleeping...how could he be sleeping in the midst of all the chaos...yet he was. The disciples wake him saying, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?" The disciples are upset, they're afraid. Remember some of them were fishermen so it's not like they hadn't been on stormy seas before...so this must have been some major storm for them to be so afraid. Jesus gets up. I wonder if he jumped up quickly or just slowly got up, stretching after his sleep from having taught all day to the crowds. He rebukes the wind and the waves saying, "Quiet! Be still!" I think he must have shouted at those winds and the waves. Suddenly the wind died down and it was completely calm. He turns and says to His disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?"
This is such a powerful story, if we could only close our eyes and imagine, put ourselves in the disciples shoes or sandals ;) Would I be any different...I don't think so. Yet here's what I learn...
The One who calmed this storm is the same One I serve
I need only look to Him...
I get so fixated on the storm. I become consumed by the issues and consumed by my need to fix them, to solve them and make life calm again. And when I do that I am alone because I am trusting in my own self to calm the storm but I can't. If I look only to the storm, I miss the fact that my LORD is right there in the midst of the storm with me just as He was with the disciples in that boat. Yet I put my guard up, I lock this heart of mine away from my husband and I think ultimately away from my LORD thinking that no one else can solve this issue but me.
But this morning as I was doing chores down the hill, feeding the horses and cleaning up their paddock in the woods, it was so peaceful. The air was so still, the sun was shining brightly, the birds were singing as though there was a hint of Spring in the air...total calm. It was a beautiful and tangible picture of the calm after the storm...the peace that passes all understanding. And I was grateful and reminded once again that I serve a God who calms the storm and that no matter what comes my way, He is there...He is always there. He will not leave me or forsake me.
Maybe that's easy to say after the storm, when life seems to be right again. Will I remember it when once again a storm comes my way. This life of mine is a journey of growth till the day I meet my Saviour face to face. The storms will keep coming. Each time I find myself in that place is an opportunity to reach for my Saviour, to fix my eyes on Him. There's no better place.
He is the calm...
He is the anchor...
He is the peace...
He knows the whole story...
He sees the whole picture...
He is in control...
Trust...do I trust Him with this whole life of mine, with these kids of mine. As a mom when it comes to my kids struggling, those are some of the fiercest storms. I don't like seeing them in pain, I don't like seeing them struggle and yet I know that it's all a part of life...a part of their journey to becoming all that God would have them be and I would never want to stand in the way of that. The key is knowing when to step in and when to step back.
Our youngest son who left to live in Edmonton is coming home, he just couldn't live there. It's not that he was homesick, he just knew it wasn't for him. He's realized that he definitely cannot live in the city. There are other reasons for his coming home too but for the past two weeks we've been struggling through this with him, trying to figure out what was the best thing to do. He was committed to a lease with some friends and so he couldn't just walk out on them and he knew that and wouldn't do that. This son of ours has been stressed and has only slept on average 3 hours or less a night for the past two weeks. Every morning I'd go on Facebook, he'd still be awake. Six o'clock my time, four o'clock his time. That was hard for this heart of mine, knowing that physically and emotionally my son wasn't doing well.
So a choice had to be made, he struggled with it so much but finally we said the best thing to do is to come home. He'll have to continue to pay rent to the guys but this was his best option. So for the last number of days this has been a storm I have found myself in. As soon as it hit I could feel myself drifting away from my husband, curling up in my own ball of pain and struggle and feeling that somehow I had to fix this. I could only see the storm, I was forgetting that my LORD was right there and none of this was a surprise to Him. Will I ever learn...
I realize too that the enemy loves this...this isolation in the storm. And he works hard at making that storm feel or seem even more impossible to ever get through, but he is a deceiver. I am so thankful that I am married to a man who speaks truth into this life of mine, a man who doesn't leave me isolated in my own need to fix it by myself.
Our kids don't all fit into the same neat little box, oh it'd be easy for us parents if they did. You know did the whole school thing, the college or university thing and got a job but that's just not reality and we've realized that with our youngest son. He has struggled through school and never finished, yet he is a smart kid, my husband and I are amazed at what he knows and what he takes in. He's a real thinker. We are all uniquely made, each one of us different, each one of us made in the image of God. I love Ephesians 2:10 where it says, "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." God has a plan for our youngest son just as he has a plan for all of our children and each one of us. He has a place that is uniquely ours. Yet we have an enemy who abhors life, especially the life in God's children and he will do anything to destroy it. And so we pray God's wisdom and protection in this whole situation...He is the God who knows all and sees all.
By the way, this morning when I went on Facebook my son wasn't on. I didn't hear from him till 12:00 noon our time, he had slept 7 hours. The decision had been made, he talked with his friends, faced his fear and there was the calm after the storm and he could rest.
I also finished my One Thousand Gifts journaling, writing down three things to be grateful for each day, it was a neat exercise to do. I have so much to be grateful for.
Here are my last entries...
1045. Will's home for a couple weeks over the holidays
1046. Hearing my kids laugh together
1047. Quiet night with the girls
1048. Beautiful winter's day - softly falling snow
1049. A visit from Silas
1050. Cute things little kids say, yet profound
1051. Charissa baking in the kitchen, Jocelyne knitting in the living room, listening to them chat from my office
1052. God - all powerful - Sovereign
1053. My husband - the loving and godly man he is
1054. Lunch with friends
1055. Jocelyne and Charissa hanging out - eleven more days and Jocelyne leaves
1056. Night out with my husband
1057. Snowy photo shoot and walk with Charissa
1058. My life
1059. Card game with the family
1060. The beauty of God's creation coated in ice
1061. Thoughtfulness from an employee
1062. Family meal
1063. A walk with Jocelyne and Charissa to the Frink Centre after the ice storm
1064. Neighbours working together to clear driveways after the ice store, someone lending us his snow plough
1065. Mom & dad out snowshoeing
1066. God speaking to my heart through a couple I ran into at Walmart
1068. Commitment from my husband
1069. The SUN! after not seeing it for so many days
1070. God's beautiful ice encased creation sparkling in the sunshine
1071. That the God of glory would enter this world as a tiny, helpless baby
1072. Family breakfast christmas morning
1073. Playing the old game clue together as a family
1074. Meaningful gifts from the girls
1075. Gorgeous winter's day with softly falling snow, beautiful day for a family photo shoot
1076. Delicious christmas dinner with family at mom and dad's
1077. Tobogganing fun
1078. Snowflakes glittering in the sunshine
1079. A chat with Matt
1080. Time outside with my camera
1081. My husband's help in the kitchen
1082. Dinner cooked by my husband
1083. Quiet night
1084. Quiet day at home after the busy
1085. Playing the new game Word Sweep with Jocelyne and Charissa - laughing uncontrollably
1086. Talk with my husband
1087. So thankful Matt's christmas package finally arrived
1088. Pizza and a game of Word Sweep with Jocelyne and Charissa - one last time before she heads to PEI
1090. Thankful Matt is feeling better today after having the flu
1091. The girls made it safely to Edmunston, thankful for this time they can have together driving out to PEI
1092. The privilege of being a mom and being able to have stayed home with my kids
1093. The girls are safely in PEI at Jocelyne's new place
These Cedar Waxwings were in my mom and dad's crabapple tree enjoying the little crabapples, they're such a beautiful bird.
A t-shirt my husband got from our daughter for christmas :)
Sarah is going to miss this cousin of hers...
I'll miss her too...
...and will miss these as well, since Jocelyne was the cupcake queen, she made all these delicious cupcakes for me to try out.