Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Eye Of The Storm

I remember a while back vacationing in Destin, FL. However, when we got there, we heard that a tropical storm was going to be coming through, with winds around 70 miles an hour. The storm hit later that night, and our condo was pounded by rain and wind. It was pretty creepy to say the least..hearing all these howling noises outside, no light, and rain slamming into the outer walls. However, an interesting thing happened. The eye of the storm passed over us. And for about an hour, there was no wind and no rain. I could see the storm clouds hugging the outer edges of the sky, and in the middle of the sky I could see stars. The temperature was perfect. It was one of the most peaceful things I've ever experienced.  Peace in the storm. The storm eventually came back however, and so we went back into the condo and rode the storm out.

When I think of this, I think of the story in the Bible where Jesus walked on the water..from Matthew 14..

...the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
29 “Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

So here is the picture. The disciples are out in a boat during a storm. JEsus appears on the water. He invites Peter to come to him. Peter obliges, and AS HE FOCUSES ON JESUS, he is able to walk on the water. But as soon as Peter shifts his eyes from Jesus to the winds and the waves, he become afraid..and he begins to sink.

The moral of this story is this. In Jesus, there is peace. In Jesus, there is comfort. In Jesus, we receive strength. It says in Scripture.

but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

When we go through trials. We have two choices. We can focus on the trials, or we can focus on Jesus. When we put our focus on Jesus, we put our faith in him that everything will be okay. We REST in him. Similar to the eye of the storm, you will be in an place of peace as the wind and the waves whip around you. You are essentially saying "Lord, there is a storm around me. But I am going to put my focus on you, because you are greater than the storm. I am going to praise you, I am going to walk with you. You are my peace through the storm. I trust that you will take care of me through this storm."  If we put our focus o the one that can calm the storm, then we will be calm as well, because our hope is in HIM..not our circumstances. Conversely, if we take our eyes of Jesus and focus on the wind and the waves, we will be hit with worry, fear, and anxiety...and we'll start to sink into it's pits. But even so, we can always ask the Lord to save us, and He will reach out his hand and grab us, hold us, and reassure us.