The Lord has been working in my life. Not surprising since that is what He promises to do. As I struggle to do what He wants me to do...my flesh battling my spirit, I am reminded of Paul saying in Romans 7:15 "For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I." I have felt this way over and over and over and over. And continually I am glad for God's grace, and especially His mercy which is new every morning! I am understanding the more I learn about God is not that He shields us from storms or that if we pray and read our Bible we are promised to not go through trials, but that the opposite is true. The closer we grow to Christ, the harder life becomes. Not that God is a cruel task master that tries to trip us up, but so that we can grow even closer to Him through the testing of our faith. That we may become more and more like gold.
I am not sure what the next storm in my life will be. I am only sure that there will be one. Pastor Campbell recently did a message about trusting Christ during a storm. He talked about Mary and Martha in the death of Lazerus and although that trial was hard to bear it was important to go through so that many would know Jesus. I am sure at the time neither sister would have asked to be placed in the situation. That the brother the so obviously loved would be sick and die. But I bet neither of them would have changed the outcome either. Would they have skipped the pain, and therefore skipped the blessing. No, I think not.
Another lesson was given at a ladies meeting at our church a few weeks ago, also about trials and storms. In this lesson I learned something I never thought about before. The story of Jesus walking on the water. One word that had slipped through my thoughts every time I read this passage helped me more than I would ever have thought. We always are so hard on Peter for taking his eyes off Jesus...but I would have been no better, knowing the storm was so great. The word that I was amazed by is in verse 31, but let me start in verse 30 to remind you. Matthew 14:30-31 "But when he saw the wind boysterous," (okay so that is when I would be scared and freaking out), "he was afraid" (duh!); "and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And" (Here is the word) "IMMEDIATELY Jesus strethed forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?" and just to complete my thought verse 32 says, "And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased." A few things revolutionized how I thought of storms. First, was the immediately. You see as soon as Peter's eyes grew large and cried for help Jesus saved Him. He caught Him up and rescued Peter, but notice the wind and storm didn't stop then. They walked back to the ship midst the storm. The difference was that Jesus had Peter's hand. Jesus doesn't promise to stop the storm when we are in too deep. Our frailness is shown over and over when we are tested, but He does promise to hold your hand and walk with you on the water. WOW!
So now I have shared what I learned from other people let me share what Jesus has been working on my heart today. Psalm 91:1 says "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the mostHigh shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty" First, God says he that dwelleth, not comes and goes, but lives continually with Jesus. He promises that you will be under His shadow. The more I think about dwelling with God the more I realize I am still thinking of Him as a hotel and not a home. I come and go in my Christian walk so frequently. I forget to pray or read my Bible. I am working on it, and doing much better...but even that sounds like hotel thinking. I should dwell with Jesus the same way I dwell in my house. Set up house! I think about cleaning, decorating, and orgainzing my home a lot (I think it's a girl thing). I think of my home when I am away from it. I love being in it. I love the comforts of it. I want it to be nice and look better. I want it to be secure. This is how we should think of our relationship with God. Our "home." As our home we should think of how to make it better. How to grow it. How to clean it out when it needs it's daily up keep. We should think of it so much that any time we are away we miss it. And when we dwell with Him the verses Psalm 91:14-16 can be true. We can claim them as promises to us. "Because he (us) hath set his love upon me (God), therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation." Jesus doesn't promise that he will keep up from testing or trials, but that be with us in trouble and deliver us. He will provide for us. What a great thought.
I know this was a lot of rambling, but I hope this was a blessing to you as it was to me. I makes me think of a song...