I was talking with God last night.
This past week, during chapel, I heard two illustrations about storms. In one story, the disciples' weak faith caused them to cry out and demand that Jesus Christ stop the storm. In the next story, the disciples were alone in the boat and Christ walked on the storm. This time, Peter asked for the ability to walk on the storm as well - and he did! Until he looked at what was making up the storm and he began to flounder. At this point, instead of calming the sea and letting the fisherman swim his way to the top, Christ reached out His hand and pulled Peter to the top of the waves. And they walked on the storm together.
Last night in prayer group, we were discussing what we had learned about God over the past week; either in our devotions or in chapel or perhaps through a song that had been stuck in our heads. I love the girls in my group so much. So many times, four or five of us have been learning the lesson, but different facets of it. While I was learning about waiting on God to calm storms and to dependently walk on storms, another girl was learning that our weaknesses are what causes us to turn to God. In other words, if we didn't have weaknesses, we would not be constantly calling on Him to help us.
My weaknesses make me completely and utterly unable to handle my storms. I've been trying to swim on my own, but that doesn't work. Then I turn to God (notice my order of operation) and demand that He stop the storm. I go back and forth between clinging to the stability of a frail, bobbing boat and throwing myself into a choppy sea trying to battle it out myself and drowning.
Sometimes when I look at my life, it feels like my trials define me. The pain of relationships broken or breaking, the stress of an insanely busy work/school schedule and an immense school bill, and the intense, internal struggle with sin that no one who looks at me could ever guess.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace
I have a tendency when I'm talking with people to discuss only the happy things (like a good grade on a test or a funny thing a teacher said) or the acceptable complaints (like an unfair teacher or an EVIL test). To a degree, that is perfectly fine - not everyone I come in contact with needs to know my problems. There is no need to place that burden on people.
The problem comes when I am unwilling to give that burden to God.
Oh, I can pray about my burdens - like how much I want those relationships fixed, or asking for strength so that I can make it through the day. This is NOT wrong! But, at the same time, I don't want to make God help me carry these burdens - or even to let Him take them from me and actually carry them for me. As His child, I wanted to bring Him things that bring Him joy, like a crayon colored picture. But while these things bring joy and He likes them, He, as my Father, wants to help me when I'm sick or in pain.
Last night, I was talking with God, my Gentle, Loving Father, and all I wanted to do was to be able to give Him something that would give Him joy, but all I could find was nasty, broken pain.
Give it to Me.
Cast your cares on Me, because I care for you.
But I want to give you something good - to be a profitable and contributing member of this family.
Do you think that you can carry My burden for you while being tied under your own?
But I don't want You to have to carry something for me when I can't give anything to You! That's not fair!
What part of "God of the Universe Who gives strength because He is strength" don't you understand? Your burden is heavy and you are weary. I will give you rest, but only if you give it to Me. Then, I can give you My burden, which is easy and light.
Ok, so if I give You my burden, will the problems go away?
In time and in different degrees.
Then what's the point? I want it to be fixed now! I think I can do it myself if I can just work harder!
I want you to look at Me, and not the burden, not the storm, not yourself. I want you to hold My hand as I walk with you on top of the storm.
I'm afraid - what if I start to drown again? What if I start to carry my burden again?
Then just give it back to Me. In fact, just start making a habit of giving it back to Me every morning and every evening. Look at Me, and I will keep you safe.
No, I didn't actually hear God speaking to me, but last night this was going on in my heart. Have you ever had a really good conversation with your best friend that lasted for hours and you just felt so relieved afterwards? I know that what I'm struggling with may or may not ever go away, but I also know Who is strong enough to carry me. Not take up the slack, but completely and totally carry. He is the God who walks on storms.
Because of Him,