And behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the
boat was covered with the waves; but he [Jesus] was asleep. And his disciples came to him,
and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us; we perish (Mt. 8:24-25).
I once watched a seen on the television show, "Little House on the
Prairie" in which the Ingles family were going through a desperate time. I do not
really remember what was wrong, but I remembered one of the ways they chose to deal with
their circumstances. One of the family members read from the Psalms while the others sat
by and listened. This seemed to help give them hope in the midst of their darkest storm.
As I thought about this, I wondered how many of us today handle our darkest hour in a
similar fashion. Do we come together and read aloud the scriptures, or do we withdraw to
our own quiet corner in despair? Do we quickly come to God and ask Him for His help, or do
we sit motionless, staring into space like helpless zombies?
The disciples were afraid because of the storm. And because of that fear they felt certain
they would perish. Yet, even still, they knew where to run. They knew who to turn to.
Within our dark storms, the fountains of worry and fear spring up all around. We easily
lose sight of God, because we get to where we cannot see anything but the problems. The
more we focus on the problems, the bigger they become. They begin to overwhelm, and we
soon find ourselves victims of circumstance. The situation becomes more and more powerful,
demanding all of our energy, time and attention, until we are weak and unable to do
anything but think about the unconquerable happening.
What can be done? For starters we need to force ourselves to move our focus away from the
problem and toward the solution. Coming together with others and reading the Word of God
is a way to provide hope, encouragement and strength. It is a way for us to take control
of the immense problem and put it into perspective. It is nothing God cannot handle. It is
nothing that took God by surprise. And it is nothing He cannot help us through. Compared
to Him--it is nothing.
We have our own ways of handling painful and troublesome situations. If we are honest with
ourselves, many of us might agree that our own ways usually draw us to wallow in pools of
self pity, or cause us to retreat and lick our wounds. We do at times handle things fairly
well. We get by. We make it through. Yet, there is a way that is best. A way that can
bring the good, out of what may appear to be a bad situation. We just have to let go of
our way and allow ourselves to be lifted up by the Hand of God.
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 (Rom. 8:28).