Have you ever had a song follow you around? You hear it once, and then for the next week you seem to hear it over and over. It plays in the store, it is on the radio when you get in the car, a clip of it plays in a show on tv, everywhere you turn, there it is, forcing you to notice it.
I have had a Bible verse stalk me until I read it the way I needed to hear it. It isn't a verse that is new to me at all. In fact, it is from a standard Bible story that I have heard since I was a little girl.
After not paying attention to it in the right way God sent it to me at 3:30 A.M. (I really need to start paying better attention during daylight hours.)
In Matthew 8, Jesus is on a boat with his disciples. A big storm comes up, and is really knocking the ship about. Everyone panics except Jesus, who is napping through it. I am sorry to report that I know I would have been one of the people waking Him up, handing Him a rope or bucket, and giving Him that look that says, "Are you seriously sleeping through this?" I am not proud that that is who I am, but I might as well be honest about it.
Matthew 8:26, Jesus gets up, looks at them, and asks them why they are afraid. He then tells the wind and waves to cut it out, and the storm instantly stops. Everything is calm again.
The word that got to me at 3:30 was "calm". I don't know about you, but when I am up at that hour it is never thanks to me being calm. My first thought was, "Hey, I could use some of that calm about now!" There I was, standing in that boat, waking up Jesus to tell Him it was raining. I needed the wind knocked out of my sails. I was awake because of worry and fear. Sure, outside forces had started the waves, but I am the one who let it become a 3 o'clock tsunami. I wasn't preparing and then resting with the knowledge that God is handling it. I was asking God for the wrong thing. I don't need the storm to calm. I need to be calm in the storm, and let God handle it.
How many times have I heard that message? How many times has that verse laid open in front of me? How many times has God held me through a storm? Why, oh why, did it take a 3A.M. wake up call for me to actually hear what it was saying?
I have been listening to the lightening and thunder because they are louder and frightening. Instead, I desperately need to sit back, and take a rest with Jesus while God handles the storm.
Even now, even after I have seen this with a fresh heart, there is my little inner "Martha" who whispers, "There is work that somebody has to do. You can't just all go take a nap and assume you'll wake up on the other side of this." That isn't entirely wrong. I can't just skip this trouble. I can't ignore it, and pretend it isn't there. However, that isn't what resting in the Lord looks like. Instead, it looks like picking up your Bible, hitting your knees in prayers, and knowing the answer is there. God not only has the answer, He already wrote it down for me. I even know where it is. I found it in the passage around the verse I made the picture on this post for, Psalms 107. Funny how it is about a calming of the sea, too. Now my job is to relax, leave it in His hands, and stop putting wind in the sails with worry and fear.
And He said to them, "Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?" Then He rose and rebuked the wind and the sea, and there was a great calm." - Matthew 8:26