“I’d like north, south, east and west to please come forward,” states Pastor Bill serenely. And here come the men, cautiously, to the helm of the room. Pastor places the edge of a white, plastic tablecloth in each of their hands before walking away.
“Are there any children today?” mockingly calls Pastor. And they flock to him like bees to honey, sunbathers to summer days, and men to car races.
As Pastor approaches the children and the four directions, he carries the little Noah’s Arc plastic boat from Little People collection of toys. Of course we all sit in wonder why he’s playing with toddler toys in the middle of his service, but Pastor has definitely done more interesting moves.
He places the boat on the plastic cloth and talks about how 12 disciples rode this boat into stormy weather (cur the four men… I mean directions) to blow the Arc all over the place. Only nobody saw it coming, but the arc broke through the ocean, much like Pirates of the Caribbean, and careened to the floor. To fits of giggles (mostly the children), Pastor carefully replaced the sunken ship onto the tablecloth avoiding the sinkhole in the middle of his “ocean”. And continues to talk about his message.
What was the message? The winds are blowing this poor ship all over the place. The men are scared and praying fervently for their savior to keep them from drowning. And then it happened…
He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. Mark 4:39 (NIV)
Does the Lord only calm savage seas?
Does he come only when he believes we need him?
God, our Lord in Heaven, comes when he sees our seas are tormented. But when we request his presence there is a price to pay.
Are you ready for that price?
To learn what it will take for your storms to be quelled at the casting of three simple words?
One simple word but it’s weight is so powerful it will change your entire world.
It is not simply in the word that we will have our storms calmed.
It is not simply saying “I believe” that will shelter you from the four winds, and the devil waves.
It is a matter of acting, owning, and participating in the life that God has given to you. It is being the calm in the face of the storm because you know without hesitation that with God’s guidance the torment of the day or even days will subside and standing there, on safe shores, will be you and your God, together.
Footsteps in the Sand
One night a man had a dream.
He dreamed he was walking along
the beach with god.
Across the dark sky flashed scenes from his life.
For each scene, he noticed
Two sets of footprints in the sand,
One belonging to him and the other to god.
When the last scene of his life flashed before him,
he looked back at the footprints in the sand.
He noticed that many times along the path of his life
there was only one set of footprints.
He also noticed that it happened at the
very lowest and saddest times in his life.
This bothered him and he questioned god about it.
“God, you said that once I decided to follow you,
You’d walk with me all the way.
But I have noticed that during the most
Troublesome times in my life there is
Only one set of footprints.
I don’t understand why when I needed you most
You would leave me.”
God replied “My precious, precious child,
I love you and would never leave you.
During your times of trial and suffering,
When you see only one set of footprints in the sand,
It was then that I carried you.”
— Mary Stevenson
How many times have you looked up at the blue sky and see only the blackness that is prevailing in your life?
Missing the rainbow for the misery?
Missing life for the death of a humanly act?
It is so easy… Yet, it is also easy to not succumb to these moments. And here is where the story changes. Here is where it is your turn to reflect back at your storms and ask yourself what could you have done differently.
Were you really willing to “let go” of all things human and give it all “up” to God?
Answer honestly, because God knows. And here in lies your future.