Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Week Thirty-Four - Why the Storm?

My husband and I enjoy reading the same devotion book throughout the year. It gives us something to talk about and keeps us spiritually on the same page. This year we are reading Chris Tiegreen's devotional, One Year at His Feet. Several weeks ago, he wrote about storms, and his thought stuck fast with me. I want to share it with you today.

In Matthew 8:26, Jesus says to his disciples, "Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?"

Chris Tiegreen writes, "One of the hindrances to a faithful response to Jesus in the storms of our lives is our acute awareness that He let us get into the storm to begin with. We would rather have a Savior who didn't sleep in the back of the boat. We would prefer that He navigate us around the storms rather than deliver us from the middle of them. But our God has never guarded His people from storms. He even lets us suffer in them sometimes. Why?"

I'd never really had those thoughts, but I can see what he is saying. If God is in control, why do we have to experience storms? Why doesn't He direct us away from them?

His answer is, "Jesus could have navigated His company around that storm. It blew up without warning, but the Lord of creation isn't surprised by anything. He knew about the Cross ahead of time, and He knew about this storm. But if He had let the disciples avoid it, they would never have known Him as the Master of the winds and the waves. They wouldn't have asked the questions: "What kind of man is this?" (v.27). They would not have known Jesus as their Deliverer that day."

Oh, and my heart leapt right there! Jesus, our deliverer! How many times have I known Him to be so! Praise the Lord for the storms in my life that revealed His power to deliver. 

These storms come so we will know HIm. "When we avoid the dangerous waters, we avoid the Deliverer...some of His characteristics can only be discovered in the deep, treacherous waters...we can't really know the Deliverer unless we need deliverance."

And my heart rejoiced again! "We can't really know the Deliverer unless we need deliverance." Playing it safe, cowering when challenged, or avoiding hard situations is an indicator that we don't fully understand the power of our Deliverer. He is the one who accompanies us through every storm. He delivers when we need deliverance. We need not be fearful or faithless.

God is fully aware of the storms around us. This pandemic was not a surprise. The fires, earthquakes, and floods are still under His control. And the impending human disaster in the Middle East was known by Him before it ever hit the airwaves.

So here's the thing - if life were easy and things always went our way, we would have little need for faith and even less need for a Deliverer. Instead, storms help us see our need and remind us of our inadequacies and inability to control life. And that is not a bad thing. Our faith increases as we see God mighty to deliver. Zephaniah 3:17 reads, "The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save." He will deliver!

Are you in a storm? Do you need a Deliverer? What a wonderful place to be, for God loves to show His power to His children. He will deliver. He is the Master of the storm. Cry out to Him today.

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