“Those who are shielded and strengthened by God share the calm and quiet nature of the One in whom they trust.” (David Roper)
Responding with grace and truth is the mark of a Christian believer who has placed their entire trust in Him. Whether confronting difficult life circumstances or even in the midst of great blessings, how we respond is a reflection on the depth of trust we have in God.
I have shared with my children that a fulfilled life is not necessarily based on the goals we set, but in how we respond when being confronted with difficult circumstances. I have learned from experience when I have responded poorly. I have allowed the storms created by self-pursuits to overflow in my reactions to others. Threatened, unappreciated, disrespected — these violations to my preservation of self-interest create a recipe for poor responses.
And I have paid the price.
Sin is the cause. Sin is not necessarily breaking the rules, but taking God off the throne and inserting yourself. When this happens, I am not the only one who suffers, but loved ones, friends, or even co-workers caught in my boat.
Storms happen in life. How we respond matters on Who we ask to calm the storm.
One way to know if Jesus is in our boat is in how we respond to criticism. When in the presence of critics, we concentrate on the presence of Christ and ask for strength to keep our mouths closed and hearts open. Criticism can be a powerful tool to draw us even closer to Christ and be shaped by Him.
When we use our gifts and talents from God well, we trust that discerning people will notice them. Another way to know if Jesus is in our boat is in how we handle conversations. Instead of dominating a conversation so people notice us, the mark of a humble person is how often they ask questions and express interest in others. A listening heart cannot hear another when the noise of our tongue becomes deafening.
The calm and quiet nature of Christ is what calms the storms in our life and in others. By sharing the presence of Christ within us, we introduce the nature of Christ. He is a storm chaser. He pursues and pursues to let us know that we can trust Him. He calms storms when we ask Him.
“Lord, we come before you today to ask you to increase our faith. We acknowledge that one of the best ways to grow in the faith is to experience storms in our life. For only in those times, can we exercise and experience trust, so that we may receive true peace and increase our confidence in you. By growing in our trust, we receive the calm and quiet nature of your presence. Far more important than words, people are attracted to a soul that expresses calm in any and every situation. Work in me today, Lord, so I may learn to rest in you. I invite you into my boat and ask you to take control. Amen.”