Have you ever felt like you were in the belly of the whale? Me too. Except my whale was the floor boards of my closet with the lights off. I was going through a very difficult time and found myself, a mother of 5, in my only hidden place – the master closet. I was crying out the the Lord and asked if He would show Himself to me. I then remembered Abraham asking to see God and that He spared his life by allowing Abraham to see His shadow. God then brought to my remembrance the verse that “he who dwells in the secret place shall abide in the shadow of the almighty.” Thank you Jesus for that promise. I continued to seek God and cry out for wisdom and understanding. He then reminded me of the storm that He calmed. I remembered from teaching a study including this passage a number of times that there was an element of the storm that was attributed to the work of the enemy. I was excited for the reminder and anxious to look at the words Jesus used to rebuke the storm. Maybe I could use those same words to defeat my enemy. (don’t you wish there were just spell like formula’s at times?) But I heard God whisper to me to focus on the words in red.
I scanned my Bible shelf for one I was confident had red letter edition. I opened my Bible to Mark 4:35 and began to read paying special attention to just what Jesus said to calm the storm. I was a bit surprised when the exact words of Jesus used to rebuke the storm were not in red, they were a paraphrase of sorts, but as I continued reading the words in red glared off the page straight to my heart. “Where is your faith?”
For those who may be a bit rusty on the story let me recount the basics. Jesus had said, “Hey guys let’s get on this boat and cross over to the other side.” On the way there a storm came, the boat was filling with water, the disciples were afraid for their lives and Jesus was asleep. I don’t know about you but sometimes when I feel like I am in the midst of a great storm I too have felt like Jesus was just asleep when I needed Him most. The disciples wake Him, He rebukes the storm (typically He rebukes the powers of Satan) and then turns to the men and asks that big red question…..”Where is your faith?”
Now some of you may be tempted to package this story in a three-part series along with Doubting Thomas and Peter walking on water, but after much study I do not see these stories the same way that I did early in my walk. I guess I was so used to thinking God was always disappointed with us that I would read these with a kind of rebuke from God a sort of disappointment that He had toward our human emotions or desire to experience things first hand. I no longer feel that way. I no longer read passages in His word and translate His questions as disappointments in disguise. I actually am able to frame them as questions…..simple, yet profound questions. “Where is your faith?”
You see He had already stated their destination. He had already said, “Hey guys we are going to the other side.” His word was already established just as firmly as “Let there be light.” He knew His time with them would be short. He knew they needed to understand a principle here about His word and confidence in what He says and who He is. He was saying when you face the storms of life, even those induced by the enemy himself, and you feel like I am asleep you can count on what I have said. You can have confidence in my word. You can resort to what you know about Me and not be moved by the raging winds and storming seas. You can either have faith and confidence in your surroundings or you can choose to have faith in Me and My word.
What storm do you face today? What set of circumstances are you tempted to let lead you to despair? Sister be encouraged today. Go back to what you know. Get in His word and choose not to focus on the storm. My favorites have been Psalm 91 and 18. And though the storm has passed, and there were days I felt like I was hanging by a rope swinging over the raging waters, I am reminded of the importance of where I place my faith…..and the joy of those red letters in my bible where I get to experience the very heart of God. Oh…..how I love Him!