On The Sea and Me…

God is NOT the author of confusion.
He is the God of Peace – the “peace that passes understanding”.

My confusion comes when I try to figure it all out.
Make it make sense.
When I look ahead – whether that is hours, days, months or years ahead – and try to sort out all the pieces.
When I strain to see the future and how He is going to move, provide, and execute the plans.

Confusion also comes when I expect people to fulfill me.
ANY person
On ANY level
Because people are people.
Sinners like me.
With their own baggage.
Their own perceptions.
And their own struggles.

Yet I am constantly setting my expectations on people and circumstances.
Anticipating how things will turn out.
Working hard to make things go my way.
Looking ahead to how circumstances will be.
How people will respond, react and interact.
Always planning, seeking, wondering, asking, and yes, trying to control.

Happy when they (the people or the circumstances) go my way;
sad when they do not.

Anxious when I don’t see the way through;
at peace when I have perceived answers.

Glad when I feel loved;
mad, sad, disappointed and hurt when I do not.

But both people and circumstances are fickle.
Changeable.
Unsteady.
Unreliable.
They remind me of the Sea of Galilee as it is recorded in Scripture during the time of Jesus.

Calm one moment; windswept, stormy and unsafe the next.

Sometimes providing fulfillment in great catches of fish.
Other times not giving up one single thing that I need.

At times, a mirror of glass, useful as a microphone from the platform of a boat.
And at other times, a raging maelstrom seemingly bent on my destruction.

But there are two things that were (and are) true about the Sea of Galilee:
1. It doesn’t go away. It is there as an obstacle or a road, an object lesson or a source of resources, a tool to be used or challenge to be faced.

2. And it is always under the sovereign hand of Almighty God.

He controls the storms.
Allowing some.
Calming others.
Making the fishing fruitful or sparse.

These things are true about the Sea of Galilee.
They are also true about my life.

And my little vessel – my life – on this sea of circumstances and people?
It is always in His control as well.
Even when I grab the rudder to go my own way, He still is with me.
Still redeems the circumstance.
Still guides me back on course.

Even when the wind and waves are high, He is with me.
Sometimes speaking to them and causing them to still.
Sometimes using them to demonstrate His miraculous power.
Sometimes appearing to do nothing.
But always in complete control.
And always with my best interest at heart.

I cannot change the Sea.
It remains fickle.
Consistently inconsistent.

I cannot control the storms.
Sometimes I see them coming.
And sometimes they spring up out of nowhere.

I cannot even provide my own resources.
Sometimes the way He provides breaks the nets in the abundance.
And sometimes I fish all night and catch nothing.

I cannot control the people in my life.
How they respond.
What they do or do not do.

And I cannot control the circumstances around me.
The good or the bad.

But I can trust the Master of the Wind and Waves.
I can rest in His promises, knowing He will never allow me to drown.
I can relax in the boat, putting all of my expectations on Him.
And NONE on the people or circumstances of my life.

Remembering that if He is for me, who can be against me?
And because He loves me, nothing can separate me from Him. (Romans 8)

And when I do that, cool stuff happens.
Like miraculous catches of fish.
And walking on water.
Like storms suddenly stopping.
And the waters going from boat-swamping waves to a sheet of glass.
Sometimes immediately.
And sometimes after a while.

I can look back through the years of my life and see His hand over and over and over again.
And I can look ahead with my eyes firmly fixed on Him, knowing He has good in store for me.
Will storms come? Of course.
Will He be with me? Of course.
Will He use them for my good and His glory? Of course.

I can’t control the Sea.
But I can trust the One Who does.
And life is so much sweeter when I do.

Not on the outside – the Sea will be the Sea, regardless of me.
But on the inside.
I can have peace.
Not dependent on you.
Or them.
Or the circumstances.
What the future may or may not hold.

But simply because of Him.
The Master of the Wind and Waves.
And the God Who calls me “friend”.

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