When the storm is rocking your boat

Thoughts on Matthew 8:23-27

robson-hatsukami-morgan-134756OK, I’ll get in the boat with you. A boat is not my comfort zone. I’m a landlubber, never really lived near the sea. Water is good for drinking and bathing, not for transport, but I’ll risk it to be with you. The boat is small, there’s only room for a few of us. I’m grateful to be counted among the ones who care enough about you to leave behind a comfortable and secure lifestyle and to let the past and identifying relationships have no power over me. You have searched me and admitted me to your fellowship.

And what the heck? I told you I didn’t want to get in the boat. Look at those storm clouds building, the wind rising, the raindrops falling. This little boat cannot withstand the torment of such a storm. We are rocking, water is coming over the sides, there is no hope, even the fishermen among us are afraid. And where are you? Sleeping! Sleeping? Really? How can you sleep through such a tempest? I’m dying here, don’t you care?

jean-pierre-brungs-36491Jesus, wake up, save me, I’m doomed.

Debby, you’ve trusted me with your lifestyle, you’ve trusted me with your identity, will you trust me with your life? I purposely invited you onto this boat to show you were your trust in me is small, where you doubt my power and my love. You bravely entered this place of fear and you wisely came to me when it seemed overwhelming. Trust me now.

His looking into my eyes, speaking these words into my soul, settles the storm raging within me. What else can I do but trust you. I’m glad to be with you, even if it means death.

And then you stand up and tell the wind and the sea to quiet down, your words restrain the storm. You speak and it is still.

Thank you and amen.

Dear friend, if your boat is rocking, run to Jesus with your fear and accusations against him. Let him tenderly show you the ways your trust has failed. His nearness and words will calm you and the storm.

With you on the journey,

Debby

Advertisements

My hero, the leper (a prayer)

(Occasionally, I feel compelled to share with you from my personal prayer journal. This one I fearfully offer. Be gentle, you’re holding my heart.)

When Jesus had come down from the mountain, great crowds followed him; and there was a leper who came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you choose, you can make me clean.” He stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I do choose. Be made clean!” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed. Matthew 8:1-3

Lord, the way this leper trusts you has always amazed me. He models detachment. He’s a leper, he desires to be made clean he knows you have the power to do so, yet, he doesn’t demand it or hold you ransom. He strikes no bargains; just lays his request before you and lets you give him what you will.

Boy, that’s hard. In theory, he’s my hero and I want to follow his example. But in reality I am attached to the outcome. I want to write useful material for your people. You could use me if you choose. I kneel before you, risking my request. Give words through me or not. Help me remain at your feet.  Amen.

*Epilogue*

God, you are quick to respond. You spoke practical things I can do to remain in the trusting position for which I long. It seems God says the same thing over and again to the Israelites (and by extension me.) I guess they needed to hear it more than once. Their hard hearts needed retraining, new ways of being and believing. So does mine.

In summary, from Deuteronomy 7:

  • God will give you success. Success for me is measured by my continued listening during my prayer time, capturing the words in my journal and sharing them with my friends. I can cooperate with God by faithfully showing up each morning, and without self-judgement offer the words formed in my heart.
  • You must destroy existing idols, you’ll suffer unnecessarily if you don’t. Among the idols I must destroy are perfection, competition, jealousy because others seem more “successful” than I am. I can pray that God uproots this prideful selfishness and grows humility and love in my heart.
  • You are God’s chosen, not because of your strength or beauty (inflated ego) but just because God loves you. I am not the best writer, but I express the impressions the Spirit of God has written on my heart. I am loved and chosen by God, I do not need to impress others or myself.
  • You have been set free to obey, do so and blessings abound. Like God’s word which does not return void, God speaking through my unique voice will be a blessing, at least to me, if to no one else, because I have been faithful to God’s call for me.
  • Do not focus on your lack (deflated ego), but on God’s power. I am not the worst writer, God has given me gifts of communication and opportunities to practice and hone my skills. It is God’s grace and love that works in me and flows through my writings.

Amen

Sound familiar? Does it resonant with your experience? I’d like to hear your thoughts.

With you on the journey,

Debby