Has It Felt Like You’re Sinking?

Hello, friends. The summer is over, and I’m sure that you are like me: trying to get back into the swing of fall routines.

The summer was so beautiful in many ways. I tried my darnedest to relish the minutes, days, and weeks that I got to spend with both of my boys.  We went (lived)  outside, we rode bikes, we planted a vegetable garden, we went to the ocean, we read books, we played games, and laughed, and snuggled up close.

But this summer was also painful and full of need and loss and defeat. Adam and I have felt like our heads have been spinning from all that happened in just a single month. Emergency home repairs, vehicles breaking down, savings accounts being drained, and excruciating situations with my mother who is very sick left us looking to Jesus and asking Him to multiply resources, strength, and healing.

This summer has been a reminder that God owes us nothing, but has given us everything. He’s not a “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” type of God. He’s far too good for that; instead He’s interested in who we are becoming, and our knowledge of who He already is (and if you don’t already know Him, He is so good that I just can’t breathe when I really think about it). Just like I want my own kids to grow up to be men of character, integrity, honor, and faithfulness God cultivates character in us as His kids.

But the hard seasons of tilling the soil of hearts, ripping out dead roots, and pruning away diseased parts hurt. This season has sure hurt for me and my husband. We just have to keep reminding ourselves that without doubt, or the possibility of sinking, there is no such thing as trust. Without questions or needs bigger than we can meet ourselves we have no reason to look to God for what only He can provide.

One quiet morning a few weeks ago, before the sun was up, before little feet ran through the halls, I got up, snuck downstairs, poured a cup of dark-roast coffee, and sat down to pray, journal, and read my Bible. At the time I was studying the book of Matthew, and I came across a passage that might be familiar to you:

23 And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. 24 And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. 25 And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” 26 And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. 27 And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?” -Matthew 8:23-27

I’ve read this passage so many times since I started following Jesus. It’s such a powerful reminder that when all seems lost, our God is Lord over the mighty waves. We can trust Him, even when our souls start to believe He is sleeping.

But this particular morning was different. Something new jumped out at me that I had never paid much attention to before: it was JESUS’ idea to get in the boat in the first place!

Did you catch that?!

Do you know what that means for you and for me?

It means that sometimes the problems of life, those things we fear the most, the stresses, the turmoils, the pain, the loss…sometimes we can be following Jesus and still end up in the middle of the raging sea!

It means that sometimes the storm is right where we need to be in order to see who Jesus really is–the able one. The One whose words are so mighty that the torrent of the sea obeys! As a writer, I hope my words move people. But Jesus’ words move oceans!

So, friend. Maybe you’re in the middle of a crisis. Maybe the days are long, the weeks are unending. There’s no light at the end of the proverbial tunnel, and you’re asking Jesus why He’s asleep in the boat while you are going under.

And maybe, just maybe, you’re right where you need to be in order to witness who God is in the middle of it all. Keep your eyes open. Stay watchful, and press into the truth of who He is.

Corrie Ten Boom, a Dutch Christian who helped Jews escape the Nazi Holocaust and was subsequently arrested for her actions, put it this way: “When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.”

Wherever you are, I encourage you today to press in and trust the God that isn’t finished with your story yet.

Run Hard. Love Strong.

Haley

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rejoice, weary world. Rejoice, my weary heart.

My soul is weary. I’m so tired of being heartbroken by what is happening around the world. I’m tired of being sad. I’m tired of being scared, and feeling guilty for being scared because it means I don’t trust God…right? Or is it ok to feel scared of all the horrible things that seem to be hitting closer and closer to home? I don’t know.

I just know that I feel increasingly out of control of everything, especially the safety of my family. Everything from people texting and driving to ISIS has me on high alert these days.

I don’t want to become suspicious of people. I want to have deep compassion and love them. I don’t want to be scared. I don’t want to question if everything that I believe is real or not. I want to have unshakeable faith that looks fear in the face and shouts, “This world is not my home! You can hurt my body, but you cannot have my soul!”

But I’ve got questions, and lately it’s been really hard to combat them.

And I’m weary. Oh so weary.

But then I look to my right, and I see a beautiful 8 foot Christmas tree with white and colored lights. We’ve always had white lights, but this year my oldest son wanted to add color. I’m glad. It was a good choice. It’s a happy tree. And it’s a tree that reminds me that it’s Christmas time. And Christmas means remembering my Savior.

My righteous King.

My King that rules with justice and compassion.

My King that promises that while we will experience pain, it will not last forever and one day the wrongs will all be made right. He sees what is happening, and He is hurt by it. But He is patient, and one day He will make it all right again.

My King that is strong and brave, and meek and humble.

My King who whispered my name 13 years ago, and called me to real life; who knows my name, and who loves me beyond measure.

My King who came, and who knew suffering, pain, and willingly endured the cross for me. For you. For ISIS combatants. For us all that we would be set free from the fear of death.

My King who conquered death once and for all in victory.

This season my weary soul rejoices at the thrill of hope found in King Jesus. He has come for us.

May this season strengthen us all to fix our eyes on Him; to run hard, and to love strong.

Merry Christmas, indeed.