It was a white rabbit. A stuffed white rabbit, a puppet, actually. She carried it with her everywhere. But something had to be done about it. It had to be wrapped up in a blanket in a very particular kind of way. This very little person in large irritation would come to us with both in hand wanting her rabbit wrapped up nice and snug. After several attempts we were informed each time it was just not the way she had envisioned it. (Of course, those were not her exact words.) Tears and emotional wreckage ensued as she would snatch it back so she could do it herself. And, as most parents can attest, that never ends well.
Recalling the event now that this precious little girl is all grown, doesn’t bring the frustration it did at the time, but it has always illustrated to me how often I come to God, as His daughter, with a problem or request and because of my desire to control the outcome, I sabotage my own peace and relief, bringing unnecessary heartache for myself. Sometimes with questions looking over His shoulder, I wonder, like Sarah “Can God really do this” (Genesis 18:13-14)? “What if He doesn’t solve my problem for me in the way I think best” (Jonah)? “Why isn’t God taking care of this? Doesn’t He care about me”(Mark 4:38)? “How is this going to turn out anyway?” “What about him/her/them?”(John 21:21) And when time goes on and it is quiet and my heart is broken, I’m tempted to take back my request, all those broken pieces and fix it myself.
But the account of Jesus calming the windstorm on the sea is a wonderful reminder of God’s control (Mark 4:35-41; Matthew 8:23-27; Luke 8:22-25).
- The disciples followed Jesus into the boat at His request they go to the other side of the sea (Mark 4:36). Unlike God’s command to Abram, Jesus told them where they were going (Genesis 12:1). Only they had no idea what storms awaited them on their journey to the other side. I find myself in that same boat as a daughter of God. My responsibility is to love God and follow Him to the “ends of the earth”, not to get out our pair of binoculars to determine if the path is acceptable. I’m not the trip advisor or the one making the itinerary. Can you imagine young children who have no experience driving a car, dealing with expenses and who can’t even read a map, planning out an 80 plus year journey? Thank you, but I think I will leave it to the Expert.
- Jesus was secure (Mark 4:38). He was at peace enough to have fallen asleep in the stern. How secure am I with God in control? Am I as secure as Peter was sleeping in prison (Acts 12:6)? I don’t have control over all those storms in my life, but I know the One who does. As little girls we look to our parents for reassurance. We scan their faces to see if we should be upset or worried. I need to “see” God’s face. Has my Heavenly Father lost control of the situation? Is it too powerful for Him to manage? I know the answer
- The disciples assessed the circumstances incorrectly. How things appear to us is NOT the whole picture. They said, “we are perishing” in Matthew 8:25 and Luke 8:24 (emphasis mine). They were not dying. Yes, it was frightening. I’m sure I would have been more than alarmed when the wind kicked up the waves and water was spilling into the boat. When I am not in control of the situation and am helpless to alter it, I can easily begin to doubt that God is paying attention to my troubles. I may make assumptions about the Lord’s motives because of His inaction as the disciples did when they said, “Do you not care that we are perishing”(emphasis mine) (Mark 4:38). As God’s little girl my limited perspective, if not focused on Him, can cause me to believe that I have to snatch back my troubles because God apparently is not concerned about them. Is my outlook distorted?
- When Jesus stilled the wind and calmed the sea, the disciples witnessed His power on display (Matthew 8:26-27; Mark 4:39,41; Luke 8:24-25). They marveled at His ability to manipulate the elements and immediately change the situation. Although the Lord works providentially today, can we not still witness His goodness, protection, love and comfort?! We need to be reminded of those to strengthen our resolve that the Lord always provides what we need and blesses us with even more. There is nothing beyond His reach (Isaiah 59:1) and nothing beyond His control. Things may not change in my time frame, but it does not mean God is working it out for good (Romans 8:28).
So when I begin to think that everything depends on me to go as it should or I stand before God trying to take back my broken bits, I can remember the Lord’s power in the calming of the winds and sea. I can also let these verses and directives ruminate in my heart and mind to deepen my reliance on God’s control. (For a printable of these verses and directives, click here)
Daniel 4:17 (KJV)
“…that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth to whomsoever He will…”
I am not given to dreadful fear since I know that the King of kings hold all power and does according to His divine purposes.
Genesis 18:14 (ESV)
“Is anything too hard for the Lord?”
I gladly place all my confidence in the Lord’s power to accomplish His will. Regardless of the extent of my troubles I do not doubt He is with me.
Matthew 8:26b, 27 (ESV)
“Then He rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm…What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey Him.”
God’s amazing power increases my reliance on Him and I can experience that great calm in my heart because He is in control.
1 Corinthians 2:5 (ESV)
“so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”
I wholeheartedly trust in the Lord’s strength to get me through any difficulty I may face.
Acts 17:28 (KJV)
“For in Him we live, and move, and have our being;…”
I rejoice that I am sustained and supported by the magnificent Creator.
Colossians 1:17 (ESV)
“And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”
I am in constant awe of the majesty and might of the Almighty God.
Deuteronomy 7:21 (ESV)
“You shall not be in dread of them, for the Lord your God is in your midst, a great and awesome God.”
I courageously depend on God’s glorious strength. I am empowered knowing I do not confront my struggles alone.
By Cheri Deaver
Cheri is wife to Weylan Deaver who preaches at the Sherman Drive Church of Christ in Denton, Texas. She is mother to Orrin, Lacey, Lexie and Ethan, as well as a new mother-in-law to Aubrie Deaver. She is blessed beyond measure for which God has so richly provided.