So there’s this story, one of my very favorites, where Jesus heads out on the water with His people. Before they hop in the boat, He tells them where they’re heading. “To the other side,” He says. And then they leave, crammed together on a wooden boat with the winds whipping at their faces and their eyes looking ahead to their destination across the water.
Their process from here to there didn’t seem messy, hard or scary. The Sea of Galilee is actually a lake, and not a big one at that. I’m pretty sure it all seemed fairly straightforward.
But then the storm hit…in the middle of their journey…throwing an unfortunate spin on their rather easy trip across the lake. The wind was harsh, the rain was crazy hard, and the water was rising in such a way that they were scared this could be the end of them.
In the entrance of this unexpected storm – a very purposed one – that which was an easy here-to-there trip became a chaotic, swirling mess of a ride. And in the middle of it all, Jesus slept as the men went mad. He rested; they defaulted to fear, panic, and defeat.
For many of us, this looks a lot like the waiting journey towards our dreams. At first it may seem easy and straightforward, but soon the entrance of the unexpected and unknown cause all sorts of emotions, fears, and obstacles.
Photo Credit: Daniel R. Thompson
When storms approach, we easily start looking for the first way out, judging our safety and comfort as more important than our development and progress. So we try to flee, running away at the first obstacle or whiplash from the swirling winds.
Yet the place where those men found themselves that night wasn’t meant to finish them; it was meant to change them. That storm was a chance for revelation in their lives, for them to catch hold of something not previously caught. For them, it was to understand the authority possible through them as they followed the One who was peacefully resting despite spinning circumstances.
It wasn’t time for them to hide or retreat. It was time for them to stay and rest.
Because revelation is gifted when we rest in the middle of waiting’s storm. When the destination of our dreams becomes clouded by howling winds and threatening circumstances, there appears for us a chance to catch fresh revelation that changes the core of us. The storm becomes the teacher from a God who longs for the information that we know by our minds to become deeply planted in our hearts. And thus, to change the default of our lives by upgrading us out of fear, rejection, and fleeing into settled, rested, confident stances.
For in the swirl of the storm is found the revelation of God’s presence.
The unexpected storms in the middle of the process aren’t meant to negate the word of where we’re heading. Instead, they’re purposed to make our arrival possible by offering us what the easy and straightforward road could never provide. To turn away in the middle of the storm’s swirl is to turn away from the gift of fresh revelation that’s to be as bread for our journey ahead.
Instead of the waiting’s storm being the tortuous place where we are so quick to pray for exit from, it may in fact be the place of grace where we catch and receive the revelation needed for what’s on that other side. As we wait, stay, and rest.