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Stepping Into The Storm

Where are you, God?

This is the question that I have asked many times and my answers have been deafening silences, darkness, and painful voids.

Where are you, God? I ask again.

Where is God?  I think to myself. Maybe God doesn't exist. Maybe all of this religious stuff is some pie in the sky myth, with God being some white bearded guy armed with lightning bolts, or a type of anesthetic, a psychological crutch meant to shield humans from the brutalities of life.

CS Lewis the renowned Christian author once said, 

"But go to Him (God) when your need is desperate, when all other help is vain, and what do you find? A door slammed in your face, and a sound of bolting and double bolting on the inside. After that, silence. You may as well turn away." 
He said this right after his wife died. The quote exactly explains how I have felt.  I have had the door shut in my face. I have felt the cold desolation of feeling abandoned by God. I have felt the sting of feeling alone.

But God did speak to me, I just wasn't listening.

The answer came, but not in the way that I expected.The answer came to me one night as I was driving.

I thought about the passage in the New Testament where Jesus calms the storm. Interestingly during most of the storm, Jesus was sleeping. The disciples pleaded and asked Jesus to help them, but Jesus didn't at first. Instead, he let them experience the fear, the merciless torrent of the sea, up to the point where the disciples felt that they would perish. Jesus finally awakes just in time, chastises the apostles for their lack of faith and calms the sea.

There were 2 lessons that I learned from this passage:

1) Jesus is always present with us, in all the storms of our lives. He might not calm the storm right away, but he is always there with us. This is very hard to accept and it takes an enormous amount of courage to believe in God. Faith in those circumstances doesn't come willingly or naturally.  True faith is a supernatural gift. One doesn't become faithful through willpower alone. True faith is given strangely by that same God who seems to be deaf to our cries. Faith takes a willingness to believe when believing makes no sense; to see God amidst the storms of our lives. God is always present. Just because something is not visible doesn't mean that it's not there. I am still working on this.

2) Jesus eventually calms the storm.  The good news about this passage is that Jesus eventually awakes and calms the storm. This is where hope comes into play; that after each storm there is a respite. In the bible Noah eventually is able to see land, Job's fortunes get restored, and Jesus cures Bartimaeus. I am not saying that everything will work out perfectly. What I am saying instead is that God will eventually provide a healing.  The healing might not be a reversal of fortune, or a clean bill of health, or perfect financial freedom. The healing instead might be a new spiritual awareness that brings joy and meaning to each event in life.

If we have the courage to keep our faith even during the storm, we will know true peace: the kind of peace that only comes from the other side of war.


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