Is it possible to be in the center of God’s will even when it feels like the world is falling apart around you?
This is a question that is very hard to answer when the walls are crashing in all around us, however, when life is nothing but rainbows and unicorns, it’s real easy to love and praise God. It’s when life begins to suffocate you and your circumstances drag you under water every time you try and get a breath of air where real faith is measured.
Life is often described as a journey; there is a beginning and an end and within that journey there are many seasons we walk through. These seasons can change quickly and where there used to be calm waters are now violent raging seas and it’s in these perilous times, if we aren’t in the center of God’s will, we risk not making it out alive.
So what do you do when one wave comes on the heel of the last and you are struggling to just breathe as life attempts to drag you under? We must keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. I’m reminded of the story of Jesus walking on water and calling out to Peter to do the same. It was only when Peter took his eyes off of Jesus that he began to sink.
The problem in most of our lives is that the longer things are good, the less we look to God for guidance and the less we praise Him for all the blessings He has bestowed upon us. When we don’t depend on God, when we don’t read His Word, and when we aren’t open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit; we are headed towards trouble. Our trials and tribulations try to make us take our eyes off of Jesus, but the truth is the better our lives are, the more we begin to think we can do it on our own. God’s Word says we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us; it does not say we can do all things by our own might and power.
Knowing this, we should look for warning signs that we are headed for disaster. When we take our eyes off of God and we allow something or someone else to be the priority in our lives we are headed into the storm. Living in Florida, I know a little something about hurricanes and on the outer perimeter are small feeder bands; lets call these the warning signs. If our eyes are on God we can make a course correction back to calmer seas, but when we choose to do things our own way, we venture deeper into the storm.
Sometimes going into a storm is part of God’s plan so whether we continue into the storm on our own accord or whether it is part of God’s plan we begin to encounter even stronger winds as the opposition of our circumstance begins to rock the boat from side to side. It’s here that we face another crossroad in life: do you continue on or do you turn back. Sometimes it feels like you don’t have a choice, or that whatever you decide will only lead to ruin, but it’s here where the only direction you should turn is to God. He is the only one who can either calm the seas or give you the strength and endurance to persevere. If you turn back, there is a good chance the storm may overtake you, but if you press on there is also a good possibility the storm will get even worse.
Neither of these scenarios sounds very fair, but life is not fair, only God is. Sometimes we must reap what we sow and regardless of if we made the right decision or not we must maintain our trust and faith in God to get us through anything. As we press on into the storm there are generally only two motives: the first is the attitude of, “I’m going to do things my own way and nothing anyone does will change my mind,” and this is basically a total disregard for God and His purpose. However, the second motivation is birthed out of a deep personal connection with God where you trust Him completely and the harder the wind blows the closer you get to the eye of the storm – the center of God’s will. It’s here that we find rest and peace as the storm rages on all around us.
I have navigated storms of life from every direction possible and every time I tried to do it on my own, I’ve felt as though I was lost in the Bermuda Triangle with no idea how to escape. Praise God, now when stormy weather is on the horizon, the Holy Spirit is my compass in my life and my connection to God is my GPS. Now when the circumstances of life present themselves, I consider them pure joy because I know the testing of my faith produces perseverance through my challenges and I only grow closer to God going through them. In the midst of great loss or suffering it can be very hard to see, feel, or even believe in God’s unending love for us, but I can attest despite everything I have endured, God has been with me every step of the way and He will do the same for you as soon as you turn to Him.