It’s easy to take them for granted, and sometimes they can disappear for quite a while without anyone noticing that they’ve left. It seems like quite a few of my more personal blogs lately have had some heavier notes playing throughout the melody, but believe it or not I’m generally a very upbeat and happy person. I can honestly say that I’m more fulfilled at this stage of my life than I’ve probably ever been before, and at the same time still facing some pretty hefty hurtles in the path. Sometimes it seems that just when I crest one of them that another emerges on the horizon that is just a few inches taller than the last one… oh, and with flaming spikes sticking out of it. (or something like that metaphorically speaking)
This past Sunday night, I was sitting in my office after a long day and was just overwhelmed by everything that still needed to be done. So many obligations in front of me that it seemed that no matter what ‘right’ choices I made, someone was going to be let down. Sometimes, all of the effort in the world isn’t enough to even be the minimum, let alone make everyone happy. I don’t know, maybe I was feeling a little sorry for myself, maybe I was just tired, or maybe I was just at that point where I really didn’t have the strength to step up and fight one more time. My little pity party was in full swing. If I had been thinking, I would have played some melancholy music in the background to go along with my melancholy mood. (maybe some Alanis Morissette or something) Eventually, though, the thought crossed my mind about the story in the bible where the disciples were out in the middle of the sea in a boat with Jesus, and some type of ‘perfect-storm’ had brewed up on the water, and they were terrified for their lives.
I really have to imagine that this was one of those storms where the waves were towering above the wooden boat, and the swells below looked like deep caverns looming below that had been hewn out of the sea by the very hand of God. I have to imagine that the disciples, several of whom were accustomed to life on the sea were convinced that this was the storm that was going to end it all for them. Jesus, meanwhile asleep down below, is woken up with their shouting – “Don’t you care that we’re going to die!!!!” I sort of imagine Him sitting up, wiping the grogginess away from his eyes and being ever so slightly miffed that they had woke Him up. He looks around and says, “peace, be still” and suddenly everything goes calm. In my head now, I’m imagining some crazy awesome X-men type special effects in the motion picture version of this scene as some sonic wave erupts from the point where Jesus is standing and in its wake leaves nothing but dripping sales and glassy smooth water. The sound of the water drops hitting the deck make it even more obvious that even the wind had suddenly ceased. Seriously! How freaking amazing would that have been. Admittedly, it would have probably been nice to skip the precursor to the calm, but still. Talk about a life changing and faith defining moment!
Back to the pity party… this story crossed my mind, and as I began to play the motion picture in full 3D imagination with THX surround sound it somehow stuck a chord with what I believe about my Savior. I said some really simple prayer that went along the lines of, “Father, if you can do it with ocean waves and hurricane type winds, then you can do it with my life situation. Please speak calm to my storm.”
It was late at that point, so I went on to bed. As I lay there, I felt like God wanted me to read a particular chapter in the book of Psalms. Specifically, the next one in my daily bible reading plan. It turned out to be Psalm 107. Here’s an excerpt:
Those who go down to the sea in ships, Who do business on great waters; They have seen the works of the LORD, And His wonders in the deep. For He spoke and raised up a stormy wind, Which lifted up the waves of the sea. They rose up to the heavens, they went down to the depths; Their soul melted away in their misery. They reeled and staggered like a drunken man, And were at their wits’ end. Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, And He brought them out of their distresses. He caused the storm to be still, So that the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad because they were quiet, So He guided them to their desired haven.
– Psalm 107:23-30
I had one of those amazing moments where I knew that God was speaking specifically and directly to me and my situation. Tears of peace began to warm my cheeks as I was enveloped with an awareness and closeness of God’s amazing love for me. In that moment, I knew that God was about to do something that would bring calm to my storm in a miraculous way.
Tuesday morning, I received a call from the owner of a company that I have done some freelance work for in different areas of web design, graphics, and writing. Completely out of left field, she said, “Jeremy, I’m not sure this is even an option, but how much would it take to hire you on full time with our company.” I could hardly believe my ears. I told her the amount that it would take. It was the same amount that I was expecting to be paid at the job I had just been offered employment with the previous week. Her next words, “Consider it done.” I’ll spare you all of the in’s and out’s of my particular situation, but those three words were the fulfillment of God’s promise to me only a couple of days earlier. In those three simple words, I saw my waves and wind, dissolve before my eyes and the gentle peace of God take its place. If you only knew how many problems were solved in that moment.
So yeah, I’ve been smiling a lot the past few days.
*So what is the story of your storm? Share it below by leaving a comment.