Sunday, September 11, 2011

In the storm... encountering God in the midst of a nature miracle in Luke 8

This week at Studentsoul we are looking at Luke 8:16-25. dealing with some of Jesus teaching on listening, a shocking story about who is Jesus family and the story of Jesus calming the sea.

Once again as I have prepared for Worship on Wednesday I have felt God's Spirit speaking into my situation, and this stormy period of my life. As people who read my blog or are acquainted with me will know I am having to make decisions about my future direction. I've been dealing with grief and anger as the church plant I am have invested three years of my life into comes to an end, and in the midst of that having to look to the future... where to from here? With all its difficulties and concerns.

Just like with Jesus saying 'hey lets go over to other side of the lake... I know that God is calling me away from here. (see my encounter with the greasy stain of a wood pigeon) But where that will lead is shrouded in the distant darkness as sure as the far shore is hidden on a night journey into a rising storm.

It's a rocky journey. An emotional roller coaster, wrestling with simply seeking the nearest safe haven or solution or being prepared to be patient and look in the midst of storms where is the spirit leading.  Looking at the whole sense of call, looking beyond the boundaries of the denomination. Wrestling even with family or gospel first? ...really how to keep the two in perspective... and now quite a few different options to consider!

AS I have done reading on Jesus calming the storm I have sensed God speak through the commentaries I have been reading.

NT Wright comments of the disciples faith " They have had their faith tested but have not preformed well" Well I guess I can relate to that.

Darrell Bock says

"God has never promised our lives would be empty of pain, disappointment, or storms. Anyone who tells you otherwise is not teaching about a true walk with God. What God does promise are resources to journey through the raging water. Like the disciples who cry out in 8:22-25... stillness comes after the fierce storm."

 " The passage is a call for deeper, trusting faith, even in the midst of circumstances beyond our control. There is no telling how often some of the disciples , as former fishermen, had been on the lake in the midst of a storm. Yet it is clear that they were powerless to deal with such forces. Thought their faith is weak, they did the right thing in turning to Jesus for help. Only their cry that they were perishing was in error. Had they understood God's care, they would have realized that divine care never takes a break, even when it leads into rough waters. Jesus' call for faith is also a call to reassurance that God is aware of whatever storms we are going through and is watching over us."
(Bock , 1996, 238)

While Auckland is close to the sea I haven't been surfing since I moved up here and I guess I have forgotten what it is like to wait for the storm and then to go out in the sea to ride the waves. I've  even
got too unfit to paddle out on the wild west coast here (the image with this post comes from the keyhole at Piha Beach, used at low tide to get out the back where the big waves are)  but the challenge is to have a faith that is firm enough to be prepared to trust and ride the storm. As I often quote from that B grade movie 'In God's Hands' surfing 40 ft waves (not that I ever have) is to put yourself in God's hands".

O Lord its stormy but I will trust in you'
O Lord it stormy, and it deels like I could be swamped, but I trust in you'
O lord its stormy, but I trust you to get me to the otherside'
O Lord its stormy, I don't need the waves stilled or the wind calmed
O Lord its stormy, I will follow and trust you to see me through

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