Tag Archive: following God


In A Storm

stormonwaterDon’t you love the true story in the Bible about Peter walking on the water?  I mean, who else has walked on water before?  Well, one time a child walked on our pool cover so that was kind of walking on water I guess, but that doesn’t really count.  The cover kept him on the water and his feet didn’t get wet.  But Peter really walked on water – as long as he kept his focus on Jesus and not on the storm that was surrounding him at the time.  Oh, that storm.  That’s the part that I’m thinking about today.

So often we read that portion of Scripture, knowing what is about to happen, and miss the beginning.  Mark 6:45-46 says, “And immediately He made His disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side to Bethsaida, while He Himself was sending the multitude away.  And after bidding them farewell, He departed to the mountain to pray” (NASB).

Jesus had just fed the 5,000 and now He sends His disciples into a boat while He stays on the land to pray.  And then something happens.  A storm.  A BIG storm.  Many of those men in that boat were fishermen.  They had been in storms before, but this time they were scared.  Really scared.

Which makes me think.  Jesus knows everything.  He knew there would be a storm, but He sent His disciples there anyway.  They were right where they were supposed to be.  In the storm.  But Jesus wasn’t far away.  He was right where He could see them and He came to them.  Okay, He came to them in a way that frightened them even more, but He was there with them.

Sometimes we are in storms just like those disciples.  We are right where we’re supposed to be, but we’re still in a storm.  So what do we do then?  We can remember that God is also with us, just like He was with the disciples.  We can think about what we know is true about God.  We know that God is always good.  He is faithful.  He loves us.  You can make your own list.  And then thank Him for those things that you know are true about Him.

I’m sure that as the waves pounded on that boat and the lightening crashed loudly around them the disciples were not thinking, “Wow, this is a really bad situation.  God is good at making good things come out of really bad situations.”  No.  They were terrified.  But God did come and make something good come out of that really bad situation.  He came and calmed the storm.  And we get to read about that amazing time when Peter walked on the water.

Jesus proved that He is good.  He is with us all the time.  He is faithful.  And He loves us.  Even in a storm.

I like the new song by David Crowder, “I Am,” where he sings about God holding onto us, “In the middle of the storm I am holding onto you.”  Here it is:

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shoesI’m excited about the opportunity to speak at a dinner for writers soon.  In preparation of that I was asked a question about a post on my blog.  You know the post, or posts.  The subject that keeps coming up again and again – my brown shoes.

Since I have posted different times about my brown shoes I was asked where I was going with those shoes.  It made me laugh at first because I have been going to many places with those shoes – to the grocery store, to the airport, to different places to teach, to restaurants for lunch with friends and even to the ladies’ Bible study that I’ve been leading in my home.  I know that going to literal places is not what they meant by that question of where am I going, but in a way it is.  And it’s a good question.

You remember the shoes.  Those brown, leather and oh-so-comfortable shoes that I can just slide my feet right into as I walk out the door.  My favorite shoes.  And you remember that when my first pair of those favorite brown shoes looked worn I went to the store and was able to replace them with a new pair of the same shoes.  Oh, that was a happy day!  But over time that second pair of brown shoes began to look just like my first pair and, oh, that was a sad day when I realized that they were worn out, too.  But then I discovered brown shoe polish.  I polished my shoes and they looked like new again.  I can’t even begin to explain to you the excitement in my heart over my newly polished shoes.  I could wear them everywhere without being ashamed of how worn my favorite comfy shoes looked.  As I wore my shoes, I could polish them over and over again to keep them looking nice.  But that much work only lasts for so long.

So what did I do?  I kept one pair nicely polished and stored away in its box for times when I needed to wear shoes that looked fresh, clean and perfectly polished.  And the rest of the time I just walked right out of the house wearing my favorite brown leather comfy, well-worn shoes.  As I think about that now I realize that while maybe we don’t all have favorite shoes or even two pairs of the same favorite shoes so we can keep one pair in a box for special times, we do wear different faces depending on where we are going.  Sometimes we can just be ourselves in our comfy well-worn shoes like when we shop at our local grocery store or meet friends for lunch, but at other times we don’t let others know we have those well-worn shoes and we put on our nice shoes, as if we have everything all together.

Over the last few months I have been leading a ladies’ Bible study in my home about marriage, which has been a lot of fun.  I so enjoy spending time with other ladies who love God and also their husbands!  As I shared some of my own mistakes from my early years of marriage we laughed and learned together.  It was like I put on my well-worn shoes and let everyone see them.  Well, actually, most of the days I’m pretty sure that I was wearing my actual well-worn shoes.  But what happened was that the other ladies saw that I don’t always have it all together.  And that it’s okay to learn and grow each day.  And while I wore those worn-out shoes something happened.  The ladies quickly felt comfortable to share about their own struggles and victories as the room became a safe place to put on our well-worn shoes together and just be real.  Because of that we were able to surround each other with prayer and support each other.  Don’t you love wearing your well-worn shoes with good friends?  The whole series was such a special Bible study time together.  Because I wore my favorite brown leather worn-out shoes.

There are times to put on my nicely polished shoes, though.  Like when I go out with my husband or speak somewhere.  I wore them recently to a fundraising banquet for a ministry that I volunteer with.  It is important to look our best!  However, sometimes we choose to look our best, like maybe on Sunday mornings, when really we just need to put on our worn-out shoes, be real and allow someone to see that we don’t have it all together.

First Peter 5:5 says, “…clothe yourselves with humility toward one another because, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble,'” (NIV).

I guess I clothed myself with humility as I put on my worn-out shoes and shared with my Bible study friends.  It has been so neat to watch God work in our lives as we have shared with each other.  So I guess for now that is where I’m going with those shoes, which is wherever God leads me, whether it’s in a time to wear my nicely polished shoes or in a time to wear my worn-out shoes.

So here’s my question for you today:  What shoes will you wear?

Recalculating

English: Detour in direction indicated

If you’ve ever used a GPS device while driving then you’ve heard the word “recalculating.”  You know, when you turn a different way than the GPS had planned for you to go and the GPS has to take a moment to figure out where you are and how to get you to where you need to be.  As I think about the past year or so, the word that comes to mind is “recalculating.”  And I’ve realized that it’s not a bad thing.  In fact, taking a different turn and going a different way can be fun and good.

When my family made the decision to change our church home it meant that I had to say good-bye to many kids that I loved to teach each week and lead in the children’s choir.  And I wouldn’t get to see those older kids that came in my room after Sunday school to let me know how things were going in their lives.  I still miss those kids.  But it ended up being a good thing because I have continued to teach my Good News Club kids so, even though it’s my favorite thing to do, I didn’t have to prepare a Sunday school lesson, a Good News Club lesson, a short choir lesson and learn choir songs and actions during the weeks of a very busy year.  You see, our son graduated from high school so we were on a college search and our daughter got married out of town so we had a lot of wedding planning to do.  And lots of celebration parties at our home to prepare for as well.  But then after the wedding was over and our son was at college, guess what?  I began to be given opportunities to go teach kids at Christian schools.  You never know what may be down that different road when your GPS says “recalculating.”

It reminds me of when Jesus was calling His disciples.  He simply said to them, “Follow Me.”  And they did.  They couldn’t have known where that road would take them, but they had spent enough time with Jesus at that point to know that it didn’t matter.  They wanted to follow Jesus.  I want to follow Jesus, too.  So I will keep my eyes on Him as I continue on this road whether I can see exactly where it will lead or when I hear that GPS say, “recalculating.”

“They follow the Lamb wherever He goes,” (Rev. 14:4 NIV).

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