Last evening, our North Way home group experienced our first “virtual meeting” as 13 of us gathered together around our computer screens and shared what the Lord seems to be speaking to and doing through each one of us.
It may a bit difficult to understand, but somewhere along the way what was a bit awkward and somewhat unfamiliar to those of us who are not technologically gifted, it became very evident that the Spirit of the Lord was in that gathering according to His promise that when “two or more of you are gathered together I am there in the midst of them.” Matt. 18:20
If there was one thing that emerged out of our 90 minute virtual gathering, it was that this current pandemic situation has affected all of us quite differently . Some have been burdened with additional duties of care and concern for other loved ones, some have suffered significant personal disruptions and circumstantial upheaval that was entirely unexpected.
On the other hand, there were a number of us who were able to share that this time of “voluntary isolation” has provided a wonderful on ramp into the presence of God because we have had unhurried and uninterrupted time to be with the Lord on a daily basis. Out of that time of communion, the Lord has opened opportunities to share with others and express love, care and compassion for neighbors, friends and even strangers.
We understand that we must go through this storm together. It is affecting everyone of us in a different way, but make no mistake that it is affecting every one of us. On the one hand, that seems like an overwhelming challenge, but on the other hand it is also a galvanizing truth that provides incredible opportunities to let the life of the Lord flow though you to others in need as you tend to your own heart and soul.
If there would be one point of focus that I would offer to every one of you who may turn to this post for encouragement on a regular basis, it is simply this: when you go through the storms of life, even ferocious storms such as this one, remember who is in the “boat” with you, even the Lord Jesus Himself!
In 3 of the 4 gospels the very familiar story of Jesus crossing the Sea of Galilee with the disciples they encounter what is called a “furious squall” so that waves broke over the boat and it was nearly swamped. The contrast in the life of Jesus and the disciples is notable: He was asleep on a cushion in the stern of the boat, but the disciples were terrified and fearful that they were about to drown.
This is a picture for me that there is nothing that we face in life, no storm, no upheaval, no virus, no financial crisis that upsets the Lord Jesus. He is metaphorically “asleep in the stern” of our small ships of life because He knows His authority and is fully confident that there is no power, no authority, no circumstance, no evil, plague, or need that will overwhelm His ability to overcome it.
What is key for us to remember is that though we may lack that level of faith, He is in the boat with us and is not going to let us perish. If anything, He is allowing us the opportunity to exercise our faith and to speak to those demonstrations of the winds of destruction and to speak to them with authority, specifically identifying them and calling them into submission to the higher authority, the name that is above every name, the name of Jesus!
The disciples wondered if Jesus really cared about them and would He allow them to drown in the midst of these circumstances. When He rose up spoke directly to the storms and the waves and said “Quiet!, be still!” the wind died down and it was completely calm. Mark 4:39
Jesus then turned to His disciples and said, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
Fear is something that most everyone must confront. Is there an element of fear in our lives that is threatening to swamp our craft, our vessel of life and if so, what can you do to rise up and confidently weather the storm, and even bring it to a halt? The answer lies in the awareness of the one who is in that vessel with you and the one who has imparted to you His very faith to take authority over every circumstance that seems to be overwhelming to you. The apostle Paul later says, “The life I now live I live by the faith of the Son of God.” (Gal. 2:20) That is the life of the son of God in us is the source of the faith, the grace that we need to overcome every circumstance, every storm, every evil design by our adversary.
So let me remind you in these days of uncertainty and even turmoil, you are not alone in your vessel of life. Hopefully, you are in that craft with others of like-minded faith such as we experienced last evening, and certainly with family and a few select friends who share your confidence in our Savior who has defeated every power of the evil one by His undeniable triumph on the cross. (Col 2:15)
So when you’re feeling overwhelmed, perhaps even fearful that you won’t be able to sustain this much longer, turn to the one who is in that vessel of life with you and He will rise up and He will speak perhaps through you or someone near to you or even Himself and cause you to see that He is in control. He is the Lord of all of life, even that which seems so daunting and uncertain.
I want to share with you just a few ways that I am living out these days with a new sense of focus and expectation in my next post which will be just days away. God bless!