Do you ever have those moments where you do something or go somewhere you felt like God was calling you, and then once you’re there you start to wonder? Did I hear you right God? Are you sure you meant this thing, or was I supposed to do that other one? Wait, why am I here again?
Our Christian journeys may seem like a series of ups and downs, times of feeling close to God and at the center of His will, and times of being frustrated and confused, trying to make sense and find God in a difficult situation. Regardless of how we feel, God is always with us. We often pray to God, “Be with us now” before a church service or as we set out on a journey. While it is good to acknowledge God’s presence, God doesn’t need us to invite Him to our gatherings, He is among us. He is constantly with us loving us, teaching us, comforting us, astounding us, or whatever is called for in the moment. We just need to ask for the eyes to see Him and an open heart to feel His presence with us.
When Jesus and His disciples were on the boat caught in a storm leaving Galilee in Mark chapter 4, Jesus was on the boat the whole time. He had just finished appointing His twelve apostles and teaching them important truths about the kingdom of God. They were on their way to see Him accomplish more miracles healing people and even raising a girl from the dead (Mark 5), but before all of that they didn’t have the faith that he would see them through the storm on the way.
“Jesus was in the stern sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, ‘Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?’” Mark 4:38 (NIV)
Drew and I were having one of those days last week when it was hard to see where God was in our situation, we know God is always with us but it felt like He was sleeping as the storm blowing around us competed for our attention. We were busy all day trying to plan a youth event for Saturday, navigating through our daily 6-hour power/internet outage, exhausted from the week, and getting hungry for dinner. We have been trying to save money and not eat out every time the power goes out (though it is temping since malls and restaurants always seem to have power), and so our solution was to take our exhausted selves to get some ice cream to tide us over until we figured out dinner and refresh us after a frustrating day that did not seem was coming to an end anytime soon.
We had our wedding reception at an ice cream parlor; we knew it would get us through good times and bad! Photo Credit: Alyssa Martin Photography
But then, God began surprising us, and what we thought was going to be something that would help us get through our day, began to make our day and remind us of a few reasons we are here, and no it’s not just to eat ice cream. There was something else going on in the shopping complex where the ice cream was. We ran into a few friends and stayed a little longer to talk, and as we lingered music started playing in the background. We were getting ready to leave but were drawn to the sounds and felt the need to stay a little longer.
People started gathering and before we knew it, we had just stumbled upon some sort of Zambian music scene that we had literally been searching for since we got here. My husband is a musician and he released an EP shortly after we moved here, but it had been hard to see the results since most of our family and friends listening were thousands of miles away in the US. We had been praying for an opportunity to meet other musicians in Zambia, but it seemed like they just didn’t exist, and then all of the sudden they were inviting us to sit with them and offering to buy us dinner so we would stay and hang out with them longer.
It may sound totally insignificant to some, but to us it was just amazing. We had been praying for this and wondering if we made a mistake. Drew knew God had called him to music ministry in Zambia, but there were so many moments where we felt alone, and then this happened and it made us just sit in awe. He was there the whole time working things together according to His plans for us in Zambia, and this was just a glimpse. Who were we to get overwhelmed in the storm and begin to doubt?
“He got up, rebuked the wind and the waves and said, “Quiet! Be still!’ Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.He said to his disciples, ‘Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?’” Mark 4:39-40 (NIV)
Jesus was there. He was sleeping, but He knew about the storm. He was not going to let His disciples drown, but he was going to let them see a measurement of the faith they had in him. God has the power over the wind and the waves and He has power over every situation in our lives. For all the ups and the downs on the journey, God is here and He is moving on our behalf to make His name know throughout the earth. I am excited to see where He goes with this journey He has placed us on and convicted to make sure my faith is set securely on Him and His provision beyond what I see and feel. I would love for you all to join me! Where have you seen God come through in a storm? He who has called us is faithful, may we have the faith to see.