Has God ever gotten your attention somehow? He has with me on occasion and one such time happened not long ago.
Several months ago while visiting in Utah, we went to a church and the Bible study was on Mark 4:35-41. It was a great Bible study that offered insights on many aspects of those verses. The following weekend, I was in the state of Washington helping my daughter and son-in-law move out of their apartment. On Sunday, we went to church and the pastor’s sermon text was on Mark 4:35-41. And again, some very insightful and thoughtful teachings on those same verses.
I know with God, there is no such thing as coincidence. God wanted me to hear and learn about those verses – He had my attention – He thought it was important for me to listen and learn from these verses 2 weeks in a row. I decided to spend some more time pondering those verses – to see what God might want to share with me through them.
So many lessons exist in those verses – so much to learn, to continue to learn, and try to apply in my life. One lesson, however, has stood out for me – one that I’m continually being tested to apply in my own life.
What is that lesson?
So much more is going on in the big picture of life that I am totally unaware of but that God is totally aware of and in control of. Throughout the fair weather and the storms in my life, so much more is going on than what I see in my little world. In Mark, Jesus tells His disciples, “Let’s go over to the other side of the lake.” The disciples obey Jesus and start crossing the lake, a violent storm arises, the disciples get scared, wake Jesus, and He speaks, “Quiet! Be still!” and the immediately the winds die down and the lake is calm.
So many lessons in there – but think about this: How many other boats were on the lake at the time of the storm? How many other boats knew nothing about Jesus and His disciples crossing over the lake? How many other boats experienced the same violent storm followed by instantaneous calm?
So very often, the fair weather and storms that I experience in my life have little to do about me, but have everything to do with someone or something else. It’s not all about me, it’s all about God and His plans and purposes for the big picture. Far too often, I am self-centered and focus just on my little world – what is going on, what is not going on – and forget that so many other lives are occurring at the same time and that ALL things are under God’s control and His knowledge. ALL things are working out for the good of those who love Him.
Instead of fretting or wondering during various circumstances or events in my life, I can be confident that God is in control of the big picture, that good is happening, and that He is always by my side no matter what. In other words, I just need to trust in my very big, loving, just, and perfect God!
When evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s go over to the other side of the lake.” They left the crowd behind. And they took him along in a boat, just as he was. There were also other boats with him. A wild storm came up. Waves crashed over the boat. It was about to sink. Jesus was in the back, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him up. They said, “Teacher! Don’t you care if we drown?” He got up and ordered the wind to stop. He said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down. And it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Don’t you have any faith at all yet?” They were terrified. They asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” (Mark 4:35-41)
“Amazing God, thank You for wanting me to learn more from Your Word. Your love overwhelms me! LORD, You see the big picture and how all fits together into Your grand and great plans and purposes – whether storms or sunny skies, much more is going on besides what I can see in my own eyes. Help me take my eyes off self and my own little world and trust in your complete perspective. Give me Your discernment to know when and how to pray for others midst the storms. LORD, I trust You and in Your promises. Help me in my unbelief! Amen.”