Yesterday as we were helping a young couple pack and move, their 10 mth old was wrestling with himself on the floor. He wanted to sit up but no one was helping him. He just kept persevering and before he knew it there he was in a sitting position. It was a vivid illustration of how we often strive to achieve something and we seem to be alone in our struggle. God lets us struggle and when we find victory we are filed with joy just as this little was beaming from ear to ear. It is then that God reaches down with his still small voice and says “well done thou good and faithful servant.”
As I have been teaching each Saturday night I noted that the stories that have been chosen for me are all about wind, waves and storms. So as we compared Jonah, the disciples in Matt 8 and Matt 14 we noted how in each case the wind and waves sought to overturn the boats. Jonah’s storm was a storm of correction and his pride led him to this disastrous storm. But, even in we saw the truth that God will take what is bad and use it to accomplish His will and His purpose for good. One of the boys asked why the sailors believed Jonah’s God was the true God and the answer is that it was only when they saw the wind and waves cease that they knew and worshiped the God of Jonah. How often are we like this. We say we have to see much like the Pharisees wanted a sign from heaven. The same thing happened with the disciples. God sent them into a storm so that they might know and worship His Son. But, since they did not learn the lesson, Jesus sent them into a second pre-arranged perfect storm. It was only then that they fell upon their faces and worshiped.
Why is that we have to weather storms and sometimes even repeat them? The baby’s striving and Jonah’s struggle is an illustration of how hard we try to do things on our own. Sometimes God lets us struggle in the storm and sometimes he comes to rescue us. It all depends on where we are in our faith walk. The disciples show us how dull we are to learn the lesson God wants us to learn and so he sends us through another perfect storm.
Oh that we might learn from our struggles and hear the words of praise from our Lord. Oh that we might learn the lesson in the first storm and fall upon our faces and worship him. Where are we? Are we in the perfect storm struggling like the disciples against the wind? Are we like the sailors who struggled so as to not dump Jonah overboard?