Years ago God told me, “Heather, I am going to bless you. I want you to use your blessings to bless others in My name.” And I have tried to live by that principle, without being overtly religious. Well, about three years ago, I was really in a bad storm of life. I said to God, “I thought you were going to bless me. How can I bless others when I have nothing to give?” Then God showed me a vision of a storm. Jesus was calm, sleeping even, on a boat and everyone else was freaking out. Jesus looked to them and told them not to be afraid. He acted as though they should have nothing to worry about. Then God said, “Heather. People are not going to trust you to guide them through a storm if you have never been in one. People are watching you, and watching how you navigate the storm, so be careful as you represent Me.” I have shared this with several people in the last three years and it always seems to have a powerful effect.
I later learned that this closely aligned with Mark 4:35-41- 35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped.38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” 39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” 41 were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
Well, this story came back to me while I attended church a few weeks ago, as the Pastor focused on a similar verse, later on in Matthew:
Matthew 14:22-33- 22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. 25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. 27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” 29 “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” 32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
As he began this discussion, it hit me so strongly how closely related my vision and the Bible were closely aligned. I felt a very powerful emotion of passion for what I am doing in my life right now. You see, Jesus had already calmed the storm before and it still wasn’t enough for his disciples to believe he could walk on water. Well, I realized at that moment that despite all of the amazing things that God had been doing in my life since I decided to follow His lead, I still had not really trusted Him fully. Like Peter, I had enough faith to go towards the Lord when others wouldn’t, but also like Peter, I had allowed myself to look away in fear when a troubling time hit. At that moment in my life, I was feeling a bit depressed and losing faith on things moving forward.
I hate to admit that I was having doubts that I was in fact on the right path. But, when I attended that sermon and heard this second story, I realized that we are all going to encounter storms. It doesn’t mean we are on the wrong path. As long as we are following God in the path he has called us to take, we will be safe. I remembered that I was being held responsible by God to represent Him and I should not waiver in my faith.
So in the week after that sermon, my business took a remarkable turn for the better and as normally happens, the next storm hit quite fiercely from multiple directions, but I turned my eyes from the storm and looked to the Lord. And then, I found peace.