Philippians 4:6-7 – Do not be anxious about ANYTHING, but IN EVERYTHING by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses ALL understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Growing up in a large family, one of my favorite things that we did together was traveling every spring to Marco Island, Florida for vacation for a couple weeks; just to get away from everyday life and to bond as a family. I can remember as a little girl driving through the mountains of West Virginia at night and experiencing the worst storms; you could barely see where you were going! I remember as if it were yesterday one trip when I was about 10 years old driving through the mountains through the night when a bad storm hit. I woke up startled as the car began to hydroplane off of the road and we hit the “rumble strips” on the berm. I locked eyes on my dad in his rear view mirror – he was completely focused, his eyes locked on the road ahead, and his hands gripping the steering wheel. He gained control of the van and got back onto the road, when he looked up into the rear view mirror to see that I was awake. He smiled, winked, and said “It’s okay; go back to sleep, sweetie.”
As I was spending alone time with Jesus the other morning, I was reading the story of Jesus sleeping in the back of the boat during a storm on the sea with His disciples. I thought, “Man, how could Jesus rest like that during such a violent storm?” “How could He sleep when the disciples were fearing for their lives?” “How could He remain silent like that through the storm?” Then one of my devotionals read…
“Faith isn’t an immunization of doubt. And faith doesn’t eliminate questions, but faith does know where to take them – to the feet of Jesus.”
I immediately was taken back to those stormy trips through the mountains as a little girl with my dad and the rest of my family. God asked me the question, not audibly but in my heart, “It isn’t about how I slept in the boat, but how were you able to sleep during those horrible storms through the mountains?”
Even though a storm surrounded me, inside I was at peace because I trusted in the protection and direction of my dad driving the car; I knew that I was safe and protected in his care. Though I woke up startled, I was able to rest once again because I knew that my dad was driving and was in control of the car.
There are times when we go through storms in this life; we white knuckle the steering wheels of our lives and stare dead ahead with “a deer in the headlight” gaze. The funny thing is though is that, we as humans are completely and utterly out of control of anything and everything in our lives, except how we respond to those trying situations! God comforted me with this memory by reminding me that…
I am not in control and just as He slept in the boat while the disciples were fearing for their lives; His silence isn’t His absence. Just as I was riding in the car with my dad; in this life I am simply along for the ride. On those trips, just as I didn’t help my dad get to the beach any faster by worrying where we were, when we were going to get there, or even how, I was still able to enjoy the beach with him because I trusted him and was joined with him!
Circumstances can shake us and change can scare us; but nothing can break us. One thing that God has refreshed in me and has reminded me in this season of my life is how I’m completely and utterly out of control about anything and everything in my life! I cannot control anything, but it is how I respond that determines my direction! No amount of worrying about the future or reminiscing over or regretting the past will change what the Lord has had predestined. Worrying won’t affect my tomorrow or make it better, but it will hinder me today! Also be encouraged that the teacher is silent during the test – not out of hate or not wanting to help, but in that the student would grow in knowledge. Let us not confuse God’s silence for His absence.