Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Simple Trust (He Calms the Storm)

"That day when evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, 'Let us go over to the other side.' Leaving the crowd behind, they took Him along, just as He was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, 'Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?' He got up, rebuked the wind and 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? Do you still have no faith?' They were terrified and asked each other, 'Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!'”

Mark 4:35-41.

I once heard it said that love and trust go hand in hand. If you love someone, you trust them. If you trust someone, it's usually because you love them. On the surface, it appears to be easy logic. I love my parents, and I trust them too. I trust my friends because I love them. If only I didn't see a discrepency in my own life with that logic.

The last two months of my life have been NUTS. With PSAT's, school, family life, my social life, my love of photography, and just the insanity of trying to get everything I want to done in one day, I know there have been times where my prayer life takes a blow for it. I don't pray as often as I should or remember to pray for everything I thought I would. And I know that for me, an inconsistent prayer life leads to an inconsistent relationship with Jesus on my end of the deal. I'm not always looking to glorify Him in all I do, every waking moment. Not exactly what a good Christian should be doing. It's not that I don't still LOVE my Lord, but in the craziness of earthly life, it's easy to forget about the spiritual side of your life that's equally, if not more, important.

Realizing this, I decided to change it. I got more on top of my prayer life. I started setting aside 5 or 10 minutes a morning to read scripture. And with that, the realization came out of the murky corner's of my mind, into the forefront:

My lack of simple trust in God.

To start my daily scripture adventure, I decided to delve into the Gospel of Mark. Hear one account of the words that came straight out of Jesus' mouth. At first the messages seemed pretty simple Christian Ethics: Be forgiving of other people's sins. Follow the example of the apostles and disciples; that is, to leave everything behind to follow Jesus and His mission to evangelize the word of God our Father to the world. But as I read through the middle of Chapter 4 in the Gospel of Mark, something struck me in the parable of seed that was planted. Where some landed in places of fertile soil where it grew, but some fell where it was choked by weeds, thorns, rocks, or the sun. As Jesus explained the parable shortly thereafter, his statement in verse 18-19 hit me like a ton of bricks:

"Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful."

While I'm hardly one who plans on owning two mansions and a yacht by the time I'm 30, I find myself constantly wondering how I'll provide for myself less than a decade from now. Where will I get a job? How much will it pay? Would it be enough for me to provide for myself, or even, a family? Will it be something I love like Special Education or Photography, or should I be looking at more "realistic" options? And with all of these questions bearing on my mind (of my own doing), I forget to pray. I question whether God will be there for me when I need Him, or if I'll be left high and dry. 

I took the words from those verses to heart, not wanting to let whatever the world wants me to worry about be the death of my Christian convictions. But things only became clearer after reading the story of Jesus calming the storm. The apostles knew Jesus could do Miracles. That He never let them down before. And yet there they are, fearing He'll let them die at sea, when He calmed the storm as soon as they woke Him. Not only is it a lesson in depending on Jesus, but that 5 letter word I so aim to better accomplish with God:


As I look back on all that has happened in the past year of my life, with my unexpectedly life-changing trip to the Ukraine completely re-routing my goals in life, I so clearly see that if I had left it in God's hands, let Him work what He wished and not tried to fight it or ponder whether I thought it was "logical," I could have done even more than all of the amazing things God HAS given me the strength to do this year. Every time I leave it to Jesus, let go and let God, as the saying goes, the path becomes a little clearer. A little easier. A little more....Joyful. And for those reasons, the prayer of my heart, day in, day out, is "God, give me just one thing: 

Simple Trust."