I’m *trying* to learn a big lesson at the moment… and it’s not easy.
Let’s start back in the New Testament and a personal translation of a well known story in Luke 8:22-25:
After breakfast Jesus says “Come on, let’s jump in a boat and have a trip across the lake”. So they all pack up and hop in a boat for a trip across the lake.
Curling up in a corner, Jesus decided to catch 40-winks whilst the rest of the men sat and chatted and played a game of cards or two.
Suddenly the sky went black and the boat was thrown about in a huge storm that came out of nowhere. The disciples screamed and shouted and ran to Jesus saying “Wake Up – how can you sleep – we’re gonna die!!!!!”
Jesus sat up, rubbed his eyes and, in a rather miffed tone, said “Why have you woken me? Have you got no faith?” then he stood up and gave the storm a strong telling off.
The disciples watched in wonder, and a bit of embarassment as well, and whispered to themselves “just who IS this guy? How can he talk to the weather and the water like that – and how come it obeys him???”
OK, there was a lot of paraphrasing there but I like to imagine it like that really.
The lesson that I am trying so hard to take note of is that Jesus said “let’s cross to the other side.” He didn’t say “let’s try to get” he said “let’s cross.”
The disciples panicked and fretted at the storm, partly because they didn’t know who Jesus is but also because they didn’t believe in what they had been told. They were told they woul get to the other side and when a storm came they didn’t believe they would make it.
Life is so difficult right now, jobs and health are major worries and finances are so tight that we are struggling to pay car bills and have no way of getting a holiday this year of any form… and, yes, we are worrying about it all and fretting.
Yet we shouldn’t be.
There are so many promises that we have been given; either words direct from the Bible or words spoken over us in prayer meetings etc.
Take for example Luke 12:22-31:
22Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? 26Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
27“Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! 29And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
Or how about my personal favourite passage in Jeremiah 29:11:
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Nowhere are we promised an easy life. Nowhere are we told that we won’t have to face stormy waters or rough seas.
Yet we are promised that we will be fed. We will be clothed. We will be looked after. We do have a hope and a future!!!!
That’s the lesson I am trying to learn right now. Not to worry about things like that as we DO have a Great Hope. That doesn’t mean being complacent and expecting everything to fall into my lap, but it does mean that I don’t have to be afraid of stormy waters and that when they come I should have faith and look to the shores on the other side as it’s a case of “we WILL get there”… not “if”