Just last week, I was doing the morning rush before school with the kids. You know the routine…breakfast, packing lunches, checking backpacks. My youngest son, Jace, loves to be early for school to socialize with his buddies. As he was preparing to leave, I asked if I could give him the kind of hug his big brother Josh and sister Laynee used to love before they became taller than me.
They liked to do what I would describe as a "hang-hug". I put my arms under his and lifted him up off of his feet so he was no longer supporting himself at all. Then I told him to lay his head on my shoulder and just completely relax. At first, he was still stiff and trying to figure out how to relax! Then I started with his head and had him focus on releasing each set of muscles….head, neck, then shoulders, arms, stomach, and on down. As he released his muscles one at a time, his weight became heavier on me and I was now holding all of him on me. "That feels so good and relaxing!"he sighed. And as he did, the Holy Spirit spoke to me saying, "This is how it is when you fully Trust in Me."
As I thought about that, I realized what Jesus says to us so often in scripture. "Trust fully in Me". In the amplified version, Proverbs 3:5,6 says to "Trust in the Lord with all of your heart; lean not on your own understanding….". If you are like I was, I question HOW the Lord expects us to trust in Him fully when the storms of life are raging! How do you trust? And WHY should we trust?
If you read the account of the Jesus and the disciples in the boat during a turbulent storm, Jesus was of course still sleeping in the boat. How could He, you may ask…but think again! He knows the power He has over EVERYTHING! The disciples wake him in sheer terror wondering how He could still be sleeping when the boat is about to be broken to pieces and they're all going to die! Jesus answered them in complete frustration, "How long do I have to be with you people? You still don't even comprehend who I AM…" Guess we can feel better that even those who hung out with Him 24/7 still became afraid. But the lesson is WHY! They became fearful when they looked at the storm and forgot who wasin the boat with them and WHO HE IS…what HE CAN DO! If they really understood and believed, would they have been afraid? I don't think so.
Another time when Jesus walked across the water to the disciples while they were fishing at night, Peter told Jesus that if it was really Him, to have Peter walk out to Him on the water. He did as he asked. Peter walked on the water to Jesus UNTIL…his senses perceived and felt the strong wind…AND THEN he became frightened…AND THEN he began to sink. The same thing happens to us. The storm comes on suddenly and out of nowhere. We look at it, feel it, see it and conclude the worst. All the while, Jesus is in the boat with us!
Does Jesus expect and want us to be calm in the storms? The answer is undoubtedly YES! We can see that if we focus on the storm, it is a quick progression to sinking into it. But we CAN have faith to walk on the water and we can be calm in the storm…IF we know the One who is in the boat with us. As we learn to trust and rely on Him because of who He says He is, we will begin experiencing peace in the storms of life. In the Webster's, I found an idiom for the word trust I really liked. It said, "to take at one's word". How awesome! If we take Jesus at His Word, trust in Him and His Word, we can walk in peace and rest.
Like my hang-hug with Jace, we need to lean on the Father. Let Him lift you up so you are no longer supporting yourself. To release your anxieties and cares to Him, start one by one, from the top and give them over to the One who can calm every storm. Can we trust Him? He says we can. Let's live like it's true!
Resting in the storm,