As we look at our lives and world events, do we ever find ourselves wondering if God is sleeping? After all, maybe God’s patient, unconditional love has run its course and He is finally fed up with humanity’s reluctance to accept the truth about who we are. God really can’t be that patient! All throughout human history, many have prayed to God for intervention or for particular needs. Because their prayers were not answered in the way they wanted or anticipated, they felt that God may have abandoned them. Were they right? It seems that we are continuing, at a rapid rate, down a path of destruction. Do you not care, God, that we may be perishing? When the boats of our lives are rocking and the seas tumultuous, we want to know that we have God’s attention. Even more so, we want God’s intervention.
Maybe the storms and the waves are necessary. If we listen, they can teach us valuable lessons. Without them, we would never learn that we have the strength to endure, understand the uselessness of fear and worry, or develop the ability to really trust. If God immediately rushed in and simply calmed things down before they got difficult, what good would that really be? We would miss opportunities to learn how to drink more deeply of life, treasure its complexity, irony, and beauty and fully engage ourselves in surrendering to the love of our Creator. It is easy to walk on the surface of life without immersing ourselves in its messiness. Life has to burn its way through us in order to bring us to a place of secure trust. It’s unfortunate that some prefer a shallower journey.
That’s the balancing act that comes with faith. It is not God’s job to prevent us from encountering the torrential rains and winds of life. Many believe that if faith is done the right way, that God will provide for smooth sailing. That’s not how it works. God permits us to ride out the difficult stuff knowing that the storm will eventually be calmed. Do we not have faith that God will do this? True faith trusts in the steadfastness of God’s love when the seas are calm and when they are choppy. God’s unconditional loving presence shines through all of it and endures forever. Knowing this allows us to put our boats out into unchartered waters without hesitation. Knowing that we prefer the comfort and safety of what we know to be still waters, how do we feel when Jesus says, “Let us cross to the other side”?