Late that day he said to them, “Let’s go across to the other side.” They took him in the boat as he was. Other boats came along. A huge storm came up. Waves poured into the boat, threatening to sink it. And Jesus was in the stern, head on a pillow, sleeping! They roused him, saying, “Teacher, is it nothing to you that we’re going down?”
Awake now, he told the wind to pipe down and said to the sea, “Quiet! Settle down!” The wind ran out of breath; the sea became smooth as glass. Jesus reprimanded the disciples: “Why are you such cowards? Don’t you have any faith at all?”
They were in absolute awe, staggered. “Who is this, anyway?” they asked. “Wind and sea at his beck and call!” – Mark 4:35-41, The Message
When we encounter “storms” in life, our tendency is to wonder where we went wrong. When did we get out of step with the Lord? Where did we misinterpret Him? But in this story, Mark is clear: Jesus said to the disciples, “Let’s go across to the other side.” It was his idea. Jesus planned their journey across the lake, knowing full well the storm that lay ahead.
There’s a lesson in this for the American Church, where the prosperity gospel and our consumeristic-play-it-safe-insurance-laden culture threatens to blind us to Jesus’ upside down Kingdom. Numerous sermons have been preached on Jesus’ action of sending the disciples, and by extension us, into the storm. The old adage “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle” is annihilated by this story, among many others. Clearly He does. Would we need a Savior otherwise?
But those things are not what struck me about this passage when our friend and pastor preached from it earlier this summer.
What struck me then and sticks with me now is this: Jesus will get us where he wants us to go. It might not be the route we’d have chosen, or in the timeframe we’d planned for, but if Jesus has called us to a place, he will get us there.
As we continue to share what the Lord has called us to in Miami, I am staking my claim there.
We currently have 78% of our budget being given by ongoing supporters, and with single gifts consistently receive above 90% each month which means… WE”RE MOVING!!! (As soon as our house sells. Lift that up if you feel led.)
We are still in need of several more ongoing supporters to be 100% funded and, to be completely honest, we are not sure where the remaining amount will come from!
At times we are terrified. (Still.) Likely not in the same way as the disciples, after all they feared for their lives! But mentally and emotionally we struggle to keep our heads above water. “Where’s it gonna come from Lord?” is a regular prayer of my heart.
At times it is exhilarating (still), much in the same way as flying. I’ve never been on a small boat in the middle of a hurricane, but I have been on an airplane. I feel immeasurably small above the clouds, looking down on the vastness of creation. I also feel a tinge of fear. It’s a sense of… This is incredible, but I’m scared. If this goes bad for me, I’m probably going to die.
Flying brings me face-to-face with the majesty of God. Awe‑inspiring, while at the same time imposing on my humanity; forcing me to rely completely on the Lord.
We feel much the same way about this final stage of raising support. We are face-to-face with Jehovah-Jireh. He is awe-inspiring and imposing on our humanness, our inability to do this thing on our own. He is calling us to rely completely on him. Thankfully, and unlike the disciples in that sinking boat, we have the entire New Testament, as well as God’s testimony in our lives, as a reminder of who God is. He is our Provider. Promise Keeper. Deliverance Supplier. Grace Giver. Mercy Extender. Unfailing Lover. Blessed Controller. Unchangeable in Character. Unlimited in Power.
I suppose we could have continued to share our plans for raising the remaining $1,552 we need each month to be fully funded. That would have satisfied my fleshly “we got this” attitude. It would have suppressed my “what will our supporters think if we don’t have a strategic plan?” fears. But, there’s no way to bring God glory when we’re trying to take it for ourselves. And we don’t want to take part in anything that isn’t pointing to Him. (Not to mention, when you commit to being a Truth-Teller, you don’t get to just tell the easy parts.)
What brings God the most glory is being honest about where we are. We are 37,000 feet above Earth, relying solely on Him to help us land this thing. We are 78% of the way across the lake, trusting in the Lord to get us to the other side.
But here’s the good news I preach to myself each day: God is going to take us where He wants us to go! There is nothing between Louisville and Miami that can keep God from completing what He started in our family. Nothing. The same is true for you, wherever He is taking you.
We know He will make a way; He never calls us to something and bails 78% of the way there. God is going to accomplish His agenda, not ours. Our agenda was to be in Miami by now. His agenda is to teach us a lesson about trusting Him when we can’t see over the waves.
So we continue to share, in faith. We pack boxes, in faith. We put our house on the market, in faith. We look for rental homes, in faith. We plan the kid’s new school year, in faith. We cast our cares on Him because He cares for us. (1 Peter 5:7)
And, with holy expectancy, we ask Him to land us safely in West Coconut Grove.
Where is God taking you? Are you in your own boat of faith, learning to fully rely on the only One who can get us all to the other side?