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
It’s important to note that God brought the sailors to their desired haven when the storms ended. A haven is a refuge of shelter and safety, a place where we are protected from the storms. Desire is to long for or crave after, so a desired haven is that place of security that we desire in our lives. Though the trials on life are rough, He wants to bring us to that place of comfort and stability that will make our hearts happy. We are told over and over in scripture that He wants to give us the desires of our hearts, the problem is that the desires of our hearts are often not aligned with His will, so He uses the storms to adjust our will to His will. When our wills are aligned with His, the waters are calm, and He answers prayers. It’s the aligning that’s the challenging part.
The quote by JJ Packer hits home when we consider our storms: Still He seeks the fellowship of His people and sends them both sorrows and joys in order to detach their love from other things and attach it to Himself. He is working to align our will to His, to teach us to let go of those things that are of this world, and to love those things that are holy and righteous. When we attach our hope, our comfort, and our peace to the things of this world, we experience the instability of the emotional roller coaster. He wants stability for us, He wants to show us where the anchor can be found, He wants to bring us to our desired haven. It is an act of love for Him to allow the storm into our lives to expose our need to let go of those other things we love. It’s not that we’re not supposed to love the things of the world. God blesses us with relationships in life to experience love - He will grow our family by bringing us spouses and children all so that we can know His love on this earth. The problem enters when those people - or things - become so important to us that we forsake Him. When we place our hope or our happiness on them, when our stability is determined by what is happening with a person, we step on to that emotional roller coaster - that’s what He working to expose in our trials. We want Him to calm our storms, but He wants more than just calm waters. He wants us to have a safe haven to drop our anchor. He is that place.
I have been praying for the salvation for two of my sons for a long time - I want nothing more than to see them surrender their lives to Jesus. It’s my desired haven. This desire is aligned with God’s desire - I know He wants to give me the desires of my heart, and I am confident in His promise to answer this prayer. 13 I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living! 14 Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD! - Psalm 27:13-14. I know that I know that I know it will happen someday. The problem is my heart struggles to watch God working to answer my prayer, so the storms rage as He’s trying to take me to my desired haven. When the waters begin to rise in their lives, I let those waters knock my boat, and suddenly I’m in their storm. I rush in to save them every single time, and my prayers immediately switch to their comforts...because when their lives are comfortable and stable, I’m at peace.
But God knows the desires of my heart, and He’s heard my prayer request for many years, so He continues to work on answering it...but He also continues to work on revealing my own heart so that my Hope and my stability is found in the one true Anchor. It is an act of love to put me in a position where I am completely helpless, so I can see where I need to grow. Dr. Keller said, “God will only give you what you would have asked for if you knew everything He knows.” In other words, if we knew what God knows, we would ask exactly for what He gives. It’s a scary thought to think I would ask for cancer, or for my sons to face so many difficult circumstances, but He knows what we need to bring about the desires of our heart. When our wills are aligned with His, and our desires are for what He desires. We foolishly ask for Him to make our lives easier - we pray for the comforts of life because we don’t want to deal with the hard stuff. But if we were to take our eyes off of our immediate position, and trust that He sees a bigger picture, that He knows our future and what the true desires of our heart will be, we would find that stability we long for. He is my anchor.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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