Navigating stormy seas, especially those storms when expectations are not met in ways we hoped. Those are the times we wrestle with our faith.
Is that a bad thing?
I don’t believe so. It is a human thing. Our frail humanity wrestling with darkness, despair, and disappointment. These are times when our faith in a God who loves us collides with realities that we don’t understand.
Is God surprised by our recoiling from Him in shock and anger?
In all our storms; in navigating all the heaving waves; He comes walking on the water of our storm.
When our expectations are lying in shattered pieces and the debris of our dreams seems to be floating away in the aftermath. Right there. That is where He meets us. That is where we learn what it is to truly “hope in God.” Not in those calm seas of smooth sailing. We learn who He truly is, and who we truly are, and what we truly believe in—THERE.
My father used to quote an old proverb that said, “Calm seas did never a skillful mariner make.” Those words can seem cold and harsh when our hopes are crushed. When all seems lost.
Yet I have learned, navigating many storms, that it is in the storm I grow. My understanding deepens, my relationship with God expands, my faith bears new fruit. Then I must surrender my expectations to embrace His. It is not easy. It can take a long time depending on how tightly I held my hopes. But He is patient with me. He remembers that I am only dust.
And that is when I learn again—how dearly He loves me.
In my pain. In my anger and disappointment, still He embraces me if I will let Him. And if I will surrender my broken heart to Him, He will tenderly touch all my wounds and they are transformed. Into my pain flows perseverance. Into my heart flows peace. And my wobbling faith learns new strength through endurance.
I let go of my expectations and I wait for Him.
And the realization begins to dawn—my storms are not only for me but for other storm driven men.
We are in deep trouble for bringing you God’s comfort and salvation. But in our trouble God has comforted us—and this, too, to help you: to show you from our personal experience how God will tenderly comfort you when you undergo these same sufferings. He will give you the strength to endure.
2 Corinthians 1:6-7 TLB