When Life Hands You Whitewater
"Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with his disciples. Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, 'Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!' Jesus responded, 'Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!' Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm." Matthew 8:23-26
"This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary." Hebrews 6:19
Don't you wish there was a warning bell or an announcement before the storms of life hit you suddenly, out of nowhere?
I've had my fair share of life's storms, and I'm guessing you have, too. Even in the passage of Scripture above, the fierce storm arose suddenly. The disciples had no warning, and they were afraid they would drown. They couldn't understand why Jesus was so calm, and He questioned why they were so frantic!
It is often the same with us, but at some point we have to learn to trust Him if we are ever to be of use to Him. We have to grow up and remember all of the past storms He's brought us through, and trust that He will bring us through again. We have to honor Him in our actions, and we must be strong and courageous in the midst of the storm.
When a ship is being built, the wood must first be seasoned. This is done by drying the wood in open air or in a kiln. It's a long, slow process in open air. The use of the kiln can speed up the process, but it's harder on the wood. Newly hewn timber is rarely, if ever, used in the building of a ship because it isn't ready. Seasoning takes time, and gives the wood its strength, reduces shrinkage and maintenance, and prolongs the life of the vessel. If the wood is too green, it will shrink and cause the seams to split and the fastenings to become loose. The ship made of green wood will not last long, nor will it weather the storm.
I am convinced that it is the storm that proves the seaworthiness of our human vessel, too. And, while the storms are not necessarily of God's making, He allows them to temper us, to season us, to prepare us to be used by Him, giving us strength and courage.
Romans 5:3-4 reminds us, "We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation."
Our past experiences with God give us hope--the kind of hope that can take us through the fiercest whitewater life can dish out. After all, our anchor is Jesus.