29 He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed.
30 Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven. - Psalm 107:29-30
Few things depict the gospel more clearly than our moments in the storm. When the waters rise, our trials are meant to remind us that life is not found in the house we live in, our health, our dreams, our husband, our children. Life is found in Jesus. So why is the loss of these things so painful? Why are the trials that involve these things so difficult? Because I define life as these things.
We live in a fallen world. The fact that we are God’s children does not get us a ticket out of it. Suffering is the universal experience of all humans, but we are told in Scripture that plan is meant to be redemptive. The problem is we esteem comfortable living more than we esteem redemption so our storms are always painful for awhile. We don't seek redemption as much as we seek an easy life. If we’re being honest, we just want things to work out for us. Our prayers are filled with things like financial security, good health, a loving spouse, obedient children, and peace in our lives. We want a God who is willing to make life comfortable for us, then we’ll tell people about Him, then we’ll sing His praises, then we’ll serve. Sin. Sin makes it all about me, my comfort, my ease. Me. As long as sin lives inside of me, there is this desire to make things easy for me.
So why is it that He allows these trials into our lives? Why does He allow our comforts to be threatened? So that we desire redemption more than comfort. We want an easy life, but what God wants for everyone of us to get to the place where they cry out to God as Asaph did in Psalm 73:25: Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. He wants us to understand life is found in Him, and not the things of this world. He wants to get us to a place where we desire Him over all our earthly loves.
We don't need to look anywhere else for life...yet we do. All the time. I wish I could say that I don't look for life anywhere else, but the temptation still haunts me daily. I can attach my identity to the respect of others, I can draw too much of my sense of well being from my physical appearance, material possessions can make me happy, I can attach meaning and purpose to my achievements, I can derive my identity from the success or failure of my children, my job, my spouse...the list goes on. The problem is every single one of these things will eventually leave me disappointed, frustrated, or sad. When I attach too much meaning to the things of this world, I strive to achieve them - to get someone's approval or to accomplish some goal. Though I may find satisfaction for a moment, it doesn't last. I generally end up feeling empty, and start the cycle of striving to achieve all over again. That cycle can be exhausting, and the source of so many of our storms. The waters rise when our comforts are threatened, when we esteem comfort over redemption.
But then I am reminded He is my all in all, He is my life. Scripture is clear...life comes from one source: Jesus. Daily, I need to take all the things I place on His throne off, and replace them all with Him. And only Him. It is then that I find life. It is then that I find the strength to face life's difficulties, comfort in life's sadnesses, wisdom in life's challenges, contentment in life's difficulties. And each of these bring a lasting joy that fills me, not a temporary satisfaction that dissipates.
My prayer requests in this trial can fixate on my comforts ~ I want my symptoms to be minimized and my journey to be easy, but in my heart of hearts, I do want Him to be glorified in this trial more than anything. I want to continually point people back to Him as my strength and my peace in this trial, but it does take consistent time in His Word to keep my focus on Him. So thankful this morning that we worship a God who watches us place His created things on His throne every single day, yet rushes in with His peace and grace as we pull them back off again.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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