In the Midst of Storms
Recently I have been thinking a lot about my perspective during hard times in life, storms that can swamp us with emotions. Tonight as I spent some time in the Word I realized that Jesus was no stranger to these same storms. I was reading about Herod killing John the Baptist and I found in Matthew 14:12-14 that when John’s followers told Jesus what had happened He gives us a great example to follow when we face storms. I believe that Jesus was very close to John. John recognized Jesus’s identity as Messiah. John was a part of prophecy to establish Jesus’s ministry on earth. Have you ever been called to something that was such a challenge and in most ways you felt alone in your passion and zeal for what God has lain on your heart? I know when I felt God call me to write my first book I felt completely alone in the sense that I didn’t know how to write a book, I didn’t know anyone who had written a book at the time and certainly not about the topic that was burning in my spirit. About three months after the book was published I heard a visiting speaker talk about the very topic God had put in my mouth and as I sat and listened I sobbed. Finally the stirring of the spirit within me matched someone else. I believe that this was the same for Jesus and John. Even in the womb John leapt when a pregnant Mary came to see Elizabeth.
So in hearing that John was dead how did Jesus handle it? He withdrew to a private place. Even though he knew he would see John again he still had to process his grief at what his friend had suffered and the time of separation from each other. God is our refuge in times of trouble. He is a safe place to express our emotions and allow Him to strengthen us even in the midst of life’s storms.
The other thing I see in this Scripture is that even though Jesus was going through the storm personally He had compassion on those who sought Him out. Not only does it say that he did healings but this is also the amazing story of how fed the masses with only two fish and five loaves. He didn’t just heal people that were pressuring Him, He saw all of their needs and He fed them physically and spiritually. He did allow His grief to determine His actions. He was moved with God’s compassion and didn’t amazing things because He was a vessel for God’s love.
I believe these same principles apply to any storm in life not just grief. When we are stressed, pressured or have had issues with friends or family etc. We need to withdraw to a private place and allow God to minister to our emotions but then we are to look forward to eternity and be about our Father’s business. I am not suggesting that storms are to be easily dismissed but rather that we keep them in the proper perspective. All that happens in this world is temporal and as hard as loss and hurt are there is a great need to show and tell others about God’s love and salvation. God will tend to our broken hearts when we are in need but who will tend to those who can’t call on Him if we don’t? Let’s learn to enter that private place and emerge stronger for it.