In Troubled Waters

Do you ever feel like a captain locked out of his own cockpit? Do you sometimes feel like every access to the controls of your life have been taken away? Or like life situations have got you going on overdrive and the brakes no longer possess the efficiency to prevent a collision? If yes, then you’re not alone. These things happen to even the best of us.

The world has its own way of serving us all our various portions of roses and thorns at the most unsuspecting times (life can be really uncertain). The past year until now has been full of times like this. With the current COVID-19 situation, as it seems that things are constantly spiraling into chaos. I’ve personally had to take a break from news stations and social media at large and channel my time to more calming and joyful activities for my mental health’s sake. This is because for a while now, all that the media have had to offer are COVID-19 numbers, death tolls, economic recession, disaster and violence. For some people, their personal experiences have been relatively worse off than others.

I’m sure we all have a bit of story to share about those experiences. Loved one’s lost to the virus or some other terrible disease, jobs or homes lost during one protest or the other, no money for college fees or house rent; all these might have led you deeper into the pits of depression, nobody plans (or hopes) for these things. But what if I told you that life didn’t have to be unpredictable? Or that when unpredictable things happen to you then you can be assured that all will work out just fine? It seems like good news right? Too good to be true, it is true, but only in God.

In Luke 8: 22-24, we are told of the story of Jesus and his disciples in the midst of the storm;

22 One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and started out.

23 As they sailed across, Jesus settled down for a nap. But soon a fierce storm came down on the lake. The boat was filling with water, and they were in real danger.

24 The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and the raging waves. Suddenly the storm stopped and all was calm.

In the story, we see a very relaxed Jesus, sleeping through the storm, and his disciples (like many of us), anxious and worried, in fear of the horrors of death by drowning. We see how the disciples respond in verse 24 as they run to wake Jesus up. I believe what must have been going through their minds was “how are you able to fall asleep when we’re going to die any moment now?”(At least I know that’s what would have gone through my mind), unaware that He had the ability to calm the raging storm.

Just like the disciples, whenever things go wrong or the outcome of a situation seems unclear, we forget who we are, and to whom we belong, forgetting that our Father holds the power to calm troubled waters, we turn to worrying, and we become really fearful. I can relate to that too. This is because we want to take responsibility for everything that goes on around our lives and the lives of those we love. As a result of this, we find it difficult to fully let go of the wheels and let God take care of us because there is so much vulnerability in losing control. Pastor John Piper once told of how he always thought that he had to choose between two lives; one where he is satisfied or the other where God is Glorified, but he learned that God is most Glorified when we are most satisfied in him. How great it must feel to realize that your desires and Gods desires are one and same thing, and the best part of it all is that God is really concerned about keeping you satisfied in him by taking full responsibility for you, but that can only be possible when you let go and let him.

God calls us to trust in him and to cast our cares and worries upon him (1 Peter 5:7). He tells us to drop all of the things that burden us at his feet, and he promises to take care of them. (Matthew 11; 28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest” When we learn to fully trust God, we experience peace even in the midst of troubling situations. Peace is a gift that only God can give (John 14: 27), and this gift is not dependent on any circumstance because it comes from the Spirit of God within us. We are not afraid, because we know that he is with us (Isaiah 41: 10) and he promises to never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13: 5). We are comforted knowing that whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe (Proverbs 29: 25). How refreshing it is to know that we are not alone in every dark tunnel, and to know that we can cast every worry, pain, burden, uncertainty, flaw, shame and reproach before him and embrace his calm, to be able to run to him at the appearance of every slight discomfort, and hide ourselves under his mighty shield – He will indeed protect us like a mother hen covering her chicks from the preying eyes of the hawk.

Matthew 6:25-34 always gives me great joy when reading it. It says,

25 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing?

26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?

27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing,

29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are.

30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that is here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’

32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.

33 Seek the Kingdom of God[a] above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

It tells us of God’s unending love towards us, and of his providence. It makes us see how important we are to Him that he knows our every need and how he is able to go through every length to give us these needs. In Philippians chapter 4 verse 6-7, scriptures tell us to not be anxious about anything, but that we should confidently and prayerfully bring our requests before God.

As we live out each day of our lives, it is very important for us to learn to trust God. To trust Him is to surrender control of our lives, to drop our cares and worries at his feet and forget about them, to hear him as he leads and to obey his every instruction, believing that he has plans for us and that his thoughts towards us are thoughts of good and not of evil to bring us a hope and a future.

Though it seems like the dark days are unending, and the storms are roaring fiercely, we must believe that all things (dark days and storms included) work together for good for them that love God, for those that are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). We must also remember that when it seems like we walk through the valley of deaths shadows, we should not fear because God walks in there with us, comforting and guiding us all through the way (Psalm 23). And in the end, we come out victorious by his strength because those that trust in the Lord shall be like mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever.

I understand how hard it is to place your life in the hands of someone else, but this is hard only because we do not know them. The word of God has so many promises for you, God has been faithful to you, and I am sure that if you were to count your blessings carefully, you’d see. Choose faith because you know God, your testimonies are a proof of his faithfulness. We must not place so little faith in God if we must receive his help, (James 1:7). You must believe that God wants to help you as desperately as you have asked him too, but also be persistent and patient to let him do so.

IN EVERYTHING, WE MUST CHOOSE FAITH OVER FEAR.

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