The Storm

Have you ever been out at sea when a storm has been brewing? When the wind is howling and the waves are sweeping over the upper deck? I have. I’ve been through three or four hurricanes out on the open sea and it isn’t fun. Things get basic real quick. You come to realize almost instantly that the elements are in control and the best thing that you can do, is stay above the water and focus on riding it through, until calmer weather returns.

I’ve been reading through a good number of blog posts as of late and there is a common trend in a lot of them. The trend that I see is how many Christians are experiencing considerable difficulty riding this storm out. And it’s not just this particular trend that a lot of Christians are posting about that bothers me, but it’s also the posts that are missing, as in like “not there”, like they used to be. I miss hearing from those who seem to be silent now. 

The posts that do seem to keep relentlessly coming, have the conspiracy element in tow, where every aspect that can possibly be misconstrued to validate the conspiracy of choice, is draw attention to, as if any of us need additional reinforcement that things are really messed up. You can correct me if you think I am wrong but I always thought that we, the Church, the body of Christ, were to build one another up, not chip away at every aspect of our perceived worldly reality that we can lay our hands on. When there is a storm out at sea and you are out in a ship on it, the focus is on keeping the boat afloat on top of the water, not speculating where the source of the paint originated from, or it’s ingredients, or the nefarious intent of the producers of the paint, that was used to refurbish the keel, on it’s last overhaul. Secondary or lessor priorities become readily apparent, very quickly. There is a storm. Recognize. Focus. Build.

Fortunately there are also some of the constants, the regulars, who have set their course and are making their way through this storm, in spite of the elements, heading towards the never changing destination. I wouldn’t necessarily be always included in that group, because I, like many others, have also infrequently allowed the waves that are splashing over the upper deck of my boat, to distract my attention, from whom Captain’s my ship. No, it isn’t easy, which explains why focus and priorities are essential.

Riding a storm out, when you are at sea, gets back to the basics very quickly. You don’t worry about what three course dinner you will prepare, basic nourishment of any kind is the focus and protection from the elements rises to the top of the priorities. And, if at all possible, plotting a course to calmer waters, becomes an immediate objective.

Have you ever noticed that when you really need to pray, that is the time that it becomes really difficult? Have you ever noticed that when you really need to feed on God’s Word, that is the time that it becomes harder to do? Have you ever noticed that when you really need to depend and trust in Jesus, that is the time that we have a tendency to focus on just about everything else?

THE BASICS
Pray for Yourself and Others
Philippians 4:6 NASB
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
James 5:16 NASB
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.”

Spiritual Nourishment
1 Peter 2:2 NASB
Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.”

Build One Another Up
1 Thessalonians 5:11 NASB
Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.”

Trust and Depend On God
Hebrews 12:1-2 NASB
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!

13 comments

  1. Great analogy, Bruce. Yes, this turbulent time does feel like we’re going through a life-threatening storm at sea. Some years ago, I was on a fishing expedition in the Gulf of Mexico when we were hit by a tropical storm with sustained winds of 74 miles per hour — just one mile per hour below hurricane force. We came incredibly close to capsizing three times.

    My focus was on just two things. One: what can I do, right now, to stay alive? Two: if I don’t make it through this alive, am I right with my Maker?

    Like

  2. A good challenge Bruce. I have been silent blog wise (still unpacking from a major move). I find my time taken with a few younger guys needing mentoring where we moved. Not hunkered down here personally (we live in the woods where a tic bite and the bear are riskier than covid) but the small church here is in shambles. Keep writing!

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