It has been about a year and a half. Perhaps longer. I am horrible with time. But, lets just say, it is within the last two year, that God began to show me that even while things can feel like they are happened to you….. perhaps God is allowing them to happen for you. For me. Its easy to know that after the storm. When you can look back and can see how worked it all in your favor. But, it is less easy to see it when the storm rages around you.
The thing about knowing this simple truth is, you cannot un-know it. Once it works its way into your heart and into your mind, it becomes an anchor. A thing that keeps you “grounded” when the waves come crashing in. The very knowledge of that truth builds trust.
For me the shift came when I had to consider who I thought God was. Not based on my circumstances, but rather by who He says He is. All to often we try and lean on our own understanding of how his characteristics are carried out through the lives of others instead of who his word tells us He is. At some point we have to ask ourselves, Is he for us, or against us?
I recall a time I went out on the ocean with my grandpa… technically we were only in the bay, but my stomach would not be convinced that we weren’t way out… Nausea set in as the boat rocked with every wave…. I was miserable. Years later as I recalled the experience, listening to my grandpa’s version that was nothing like I had recalled. I remembered huge waves and wind and rocking and…………… he on the other hand recalled a nice day of fishing.. slow ripples and a lovely breeze. I have thought about that and smiled often. I think spiritually I can do a similar thing… I feel the breeze coming and freak out thinking… assuming the worst is coming. My knees buckle and I hit the floor holding my stomach and my head, begging for a bucket… Forgetting that I am anchored placed upon dry ground..
It has taken me years to be brave enough to open my spiritual eyes and find my sea legs. Seeing that a loving heavenly father has placed amazing people all around me, to catch me, to confide in me and to steady me. Beginning to trust that they have me…. and somewhere in the embracing of those truths I stand in the midst of the “storm.” First one eye opens, and then the other. My white knuckle grip loosens… with every brave step you become more aware that what your fears saw as a raging storm, truly was just a day at sea just like your grandpa says and your storm and stomach settles.
I came across a few pictures of that boating trip, and smiled. I think I was more right than my grandpa. Based on the photos we were in slickers, it was raining sideways, and I am pretty certain I was not the only sick one on the boat. I learned it was all about perspective. And where we had placed our trust. Grandpa knew the caption on the vessel had our good in mind. Grandpa knew we were in good hands, and he knew the fishing would be amazing. All things I didn’t yet know. Or trust.
It is easy to not trust those things you do not yet know. But, there are ways of knowing the very characteristics of God. I love knowing that He is for me.. . That even when things seems out of control, that we can know He is working things out for my good. Does that mean that things will never be painless, or undesirable, or not complicated? No. We tend to measure things by money or comfort or even health…. but, God measures things by who we are becoming.
I love that when we finally know something. Really know something. We cannot un-know it. Don’t you?
And those He predestined He also called, those He called He also justified, those He justified He also glorified. What then shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us,who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also, along with Him, freely give us all things?… Romans 8:30-32