On the heels of shepherding a family through a murder/attempted suicide, counseling a teen threatening the same, and dealing with the normal local church issues all pastors face; we decided to take a break and hold a family celebration for my granddaughter’s first birthday.
Suddenly, as we were eating pizza and laughing, my 30 year old son fell over, went into the bathroom and began vomiting violently. Turns out he had a stroke. To this day, doctors have no idea what caused it. In the midst of funeral planning, counseling, grieving, etc.; we walked with our son through multiple tests and procedures plus a four day hospital stay.
God was with us…despite it all! He recovered from the worst of his symptoms almost as suddenly as it all happened. And, while he's in for months of therapy, monitoring, etc.; he is receiving prayers from hundreds of people which speaks to his heart. The combined crisis we're facing has led to people reconnecting and sharing in ways we never imagined.
During the crisis, I preached a sermon from Matthew 14. It seems that the story of Jesus walking on the water often is preached from a perspective of awe re. his miraculous abilities. I now see it differently.
What I notice now is that Jesus comes to us in the storms of life. He then calls us to get out of the boat of our faithless complacency and walk on water with him. And, when we feel like we're sinking, He saves us. We don't always know why the storms are allowed, but the results of His intervention leads to more faith and assurance (See Matthew 14:22-33).
So whatever storm you face, keep your eyes on the one walking toward you through the wind and waves...you'll be blessed if you do!