The torrential rain poured down mercilessly that Saturday night, as I drove my husband Chris and myself home from a whirlwind day-trip for our friends’ wedding in Dallas. The country roads were not giving me much help to see–no white or yellow lines to follow. And my Chris was fast asleep! I remember looking at him and thinking, “Wake up and help me.” But he still slept.
My eyes could not make out the road before me, only buckets full of blinding rain on the windshield. The wipers gave no rescue either. I could not see, and there was no shoulder to pull off and wait it out. What could I do? I began to slow down to a snail’s pace and pray aloud, “LORD, I cannot see the road at all, just rain. Please help us get home safely!”
I immediately felt a calming in my spirit and drove on, continuing to squint my eyes for the road right in front of us, gripping the wheel tightly still. Then I saw a yellow sign–a curve ahead to the left. Bit by bit, sign by sign, tiny piece of road by tiny piece of road, I drove homeward in the night. After an hour of white-knuckling it, my Chris woke up. “Oh, it’s raining, huh?” I held back my retort and said, “Yep.” Sometimes the less said the better, even a few years into marriage I knew that.
When you cannot see, pray and trust. It’s that simple. It may be slow, as a snail. You may not have anyone around to help you. But God promises to always be with you. He promises to hear your prayers and show you the way to go. All His promises are true, which is where the trust part comes in. You have to choose to believe Him. Before it happens, you need to actively choose.
The disciples had been with Jesus all day. They had seen Him do amazing miracles–healing leprosy, debilitating fever and finally a paralytic, at his word alone (and from a distance!). They had heard wondrous teachings and were even given special insight to understand them, as Jesus explained to them each parable’s meaning. So when the violent storm came upon the disciples in the boat that night–a squall of a storm–and Jesus slept away, they became overwhelmingly frightened. All that days’ events were muted by the blinding rain and swamping waves. They were overcome suddenly by what they saw.
No insight or remembrance of the miracles that day had been enough for them in the provoking fear of a storm-ridden night.
Also right before they sailed that night, Jesus’ own mother and brothers came to see Him. But the crowds were so full, they couldn’t reach Jesus. They must have passed the word ahead, so that it reached Jesus. Why did they come? What did they want to see or say? We don’t know exactly. However, here is what Jesus replied when the word came forward, “My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.” (Luke 8:21 NIV)
Well now, Jesus got to the point.
- Familiarity with Him did not necessarily mean family gets the front row seat.
- Understand that what makes us connected with Him, as family, comes from hearing and acting in BELIEF on His word.
So when the disciples were in the middle of the storm’s squall, simply being with Jesus wasn’t enough. Seeing what Jesus did wasn’t enough. Being amazed by what Jesus did, by what Jesus spoke, wasn’t enough. Even being given the secrets to understanding the teachings of His parables wasn’t enough. They had to actively go one step further. They had to believe more than their eyes had seen, ears had heard and mind could conceive.The disciples had to fully and actively embrace His word as their core truth, so that their response in trouble would be trusting Him, no matter what they saw or didn't see. Click To Tweet
Since they didn’t do that, what happened? How did Jesus respond? He gave them a lesson they’d never forget! He rebuked (spoke in sharp disapproval to) the winds and waves, who happened to know and submit to their Creator’s authority, and they died down immediately. Can you even imagine? It was a lesson the disciples would replay over and over and over again, as storms of life came upon them once more. And you know what? They would at times believe Him fully and other times, they would fail to believe Him again.
But Jesus? He’s so good to meet us right where we are in our doubting, as He was faithful to meet the first disciples in their own doubts. He actively calls us all to faith.
“‘Where is your faith?’ he (Jesus) asked his disciples. In fear and amazement they asked one another, ‘Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him'” (Luke 8:25 NIV).
Jesus, I want to believe. Help me in my unbelief today. I thank You that when I cry out to You, You not only hear me, but You lovingly respond, so that even when the margins of my life look like ditches, You set my feet back on solid rock again. You clean me up! And You patiently help me to trust You. I trust You today, Lord Jesus. I’m clinging to You in this storm. For whether You rebuke the storm or make a way through it, I am holding tightly to Your faithful hands.
Are there areas of doubt in your life that you can begin to fuel with belief and trust? Begin to write and speak and think in a believing way–make that your lifestyle! Doubts and storms will come, so speak back to them that you are trusting the LORD. When you run into questions about what Scripture says, get a concordance and pore over every verse that speaks to your situation.
Holly Smith: Blog, Facebook and Twitter.
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Alisa Hope Wagner says
Beautiful words, my friend! I’m encouraged to keep making those small steps every day even when I can only see portions of what God is doing!
Thanks for your encouragement in Christ. I am so glad He calls us family. What a blessing to for Christ to value us as He did His own earthly family.
Holly Smith says
Isn’t that part astounding, Cheyenne? I mean the lengths Jesus went to to make us family. And all He’s asking in return is our active trust in Him. Sounds simple, but we sure do need reminding and often! Thank you for your kind comment, Sister! Holly
Marsha Harwood says
This is the second devotional I’ve read today that the word TRUST is jumping out at me. Life is rather hectic right now. I know the ‘finish line’ is just around the corner. By the end of this month, this long season of sojourning betwist and between will soon be over and a new journey will begin. I don’t fully know where this new journey will take me, I just know He’s telling me to trust Him with it. Thanks for this devo, Holly. I’m excited for you all as you embark on this new road.
Holly Smith says
Isn’t that just like God, Marsha? He is so good to be speaking to us in every way, so we will know His heart for us. Thank you for your encouragement, my Sister! Sure do think the world of you! <3 Holly