It's so easy to think we messed up when life takes what we perceive as a wrong turn. When something catastrophic and life-altering occurs, we begin to try and figure out what we did wrong. Maybe it's just me! :-) Tons of questions start to form and run through our minds. Did I miss something? Did I disobey God? Didn't I have enough faith? Did I doubt? Perhaps I didn't pray enough, read enough, or do enough of something...
But that's not the case at all. Storms don't come in life because we commit a sin or because we omit something. They are just part of life, period. Yesterday, we talked about Jonah. He did find himself in a storm and the belly of a whale because he disobeyed God, I'll admit. However, let's look at a New Testament account where obedience sent the disciples right into a storm.
In Matthew 14, Jesus told the disciples to get into the boat and go across the sea. He did not warn them about a storm. He did not prepare them by telling them He'd come out to them in the darkest moments. He just told them to go get in the boat and head across the waters. They obeyed Him as they should have and still ended up in the middle of the stormy sea in the middle of the night. Neither obedience nor disobedience caused the storm and put them in a precarious situation. The storm was coming whether they obeyed or not. Had they disobeyed and stayed on shore, the storm would have still come. But they would not have experienced the peace that came when Jesus got in the boat with them. And Peter would have missed the opportunity to walk on water.
In the case of disobedient Jonah and the obedient disciples - God came to them. He brought His peace. He met Jonah in the belly of the whale and gave him a place to repent and restore the relationship. Jesus met the disciples in their storm, taught them about faith, and brought His peace, calming their nerves and the storm.
We can trust God to meet us in the storm - no matter what we perceive its origin to be. He will come. He will bring peace (it's part of Him - He can't leave it behind!). He will give us grace for the moment and strength for today's battle. We can count on it - the storm is not our fault. It is there to reveal who God is in our hearts.
Today, I will look for Jesus in the storm. I will not "should" on myself and give myself a list of things I should have done or not done. I'll just trust Him to calm the storm in my soul. I'll remind myself that He's staying in the boat with me. He won't bail on me. And I will trust Him to be with me for one more day - will you join me?