Saturday, September 5, 2015

Is It Just Me?

Is it just me or does it seem like this world has fallen into a pit of absolute and complete insanity? I mean, it seems like everyday I wake up and there is another thing that leaves me scratching my head.  I'm often left thinking what in the world is going on?  This cannot be real!!!  The unfortunate truth is that I have not somehow been swept away into a crazy world of make believe and it is in fact all very, very, real. 

While I would love to stick my head in the sand and pretend its not all happening, somehow that approach seems as crazy as the events I see playing out all around me.  Of course, I could fall into freak-a-zoidal mode (a Tim-ism for the state of being extremely freaked out).  This mode is often characterized by emotional instability, stress, worry, anxiety, utter hopelessness, and rash decisions.  Thinking that isn't the proper approach either.

This freak-a-zoidal approach reminds me a bit of the disciples in the boat in the middle of a storm. I picture in my head guys holding on for dear life, screaming, making deals with God, and saying, "I love you, man," to each other as they prepared to go down with the ship.  In their minds, they've resolved that this is how it all ends.  In the middle of all the madness though someone has the wherewithal to go to Jesus for help.  Go figure.  I don't know how long they were in freak-a-zoidal mode before they approached Jesus, but one would think having witnessed all that this Man had done, approaching Him would have been at the top of the list.  Jesus, of course, comes to the rescue and saves the day.  Imagine that!

After saving the day, Jesus rebukes his disciples a bit for not trusting God.  Jesus asks, “Why are you so afraid? Why do you have no faith?" Jesus was snoring through all of this.  He was "at rest" while all these guys were in freak-a-zoidal mode.  It's as if Jesus didn't need the world around Him to be at peace in order for Him to be at peace.  Yet, aren't we like the disciples most of the time?  We don't really want to be confronted with storms.  God forbid life get just a tad uncomfortable for us.  After all, we're His children and He would never allow anything to come our way to make life a bit uncomfortable, right?  Can I be a bit frank with you?  Those who proclaim that message from the pulpit are feeding us a line of bull.  Jesus promised us that in this world we would have tribulation or trouble.  Those who don't believe that are those who choose to stick their heads in the sand. Life has it's challenges.  Life comes with storms and those storms don't imply God is mad at us or punishing us.  Life just has moments that present us with the opportunity to either trust God or not.  Our ability to trust God is not proven in times of peace but in times when the storms are raging.  If we must have peace surrounding us in order for us to be at peace, then that's a hint that we struggle to truly trust God.  

Is it possible to trust God in the storms?  It sure seems like that was the expectation that Jesus had placed on the disciples.  Rather than calming the storm, Jesus' rebuke seems to imply He would have rather the disciples be at peace in the middle of the storm.  

I don't think its just me.  I think ours is a culture with some winds starting to blow a bit.  Are you at peace?  Can you remain at peace if the winds blow a bit harder?  Whenever the winds start to pick up, we have a choice.  We can go full freak-a-zoidal or we can trust God.  I'm thinking its time for the church to prove it really trusts God by determining to be at peace regardless of how much the boat is getting hammered.  Or, we can go freak-a-zoidal once again communicating to the world around us that we don't really trust in the God we're trying to convince them to trust in. 

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