It wasn’t in any of my plans. Nonetheless, along with millions of other Floridians, last week I found myself stalking the aisles of Publix to stock up on water, bread, and Twinkies.
Don’t judge me on the Twinkies . When the store shelves are empty, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do, and it was hurricane time. Again.
Life and Business Never Stay Calm
Life in Central Florida has been fairly calm since Hurricane Irma roared over my house 5 years ago, but I’m sure you’ve noticed, as I have, things in life and in business rarely stay calm.
So once again, I was hunkering down, stocking up, and powering on the radio as the hurricane-force winds pounded through the loooooong windy night.
[Spoiler Alert: As you can see from these snapshots things got a little crazy here but our house stood firm, our loved ones are fine, and with a bit of cleanup the neighborhood will be back to normal in no time.]
As you can imagine, all the wind and waves got me pondering, why are life and business so hard?
Jesus Asleep in the Storm
For over a decade, I’ve been haunted and taunted by Rembrandt’s famous painting, The Storm on the Sea of Galilee.
If you look closely at Rembrandt’s depiction of this gospel account, you’ll notice each of Jesus’ disciples reacting to the storm in very different ways.
Unfortunately, I can relate to every single one.
- Barely clinging to the mast, when all I’ve treasured is blowing away
- Anxiously trying to row (and control) the sea, convinced I can make things go my way
- Throwing up over the side, sick from the storm-tossed waves
- Tugging at Jesus’ coat, begging Him to wake up and save me
Questions, Questions, Questions
When I say I’ve meditated on and been haunted by this picture for a decade or more, I’m not exaggerating. I’ve stared at it and prayed about it for years.
Because like you, I’ve experienced A LOT of ups and A LOT of downs in my life: hurricanes, family crises, terrifying uncertainty, crippling fear, business failures, and so much more.
If there are questions to be asked of God, I’ve asked them.
- Where are you?
- Do you see me?
- Why don’t you rescue me when I know you can?
- How did I get here when I thought I was following you?
These are good questions. Important questions. And God always invites us to bring them to Him. But truthfully, God’s answers to these deep puzzles aren’t always clear and that can be hard.
Answers, Answers, Answers
Thankfully, at one point in my wrestling, my Spiritual Director asked me a different question about this account, and it shifted e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g.
“What does Jesus know about His Father that allows Him to sleep?”
Whether it’s a literal storm like Hurricane Ian or the storms we face building a business in this crazy world, this is a question with answers galore.
What did Jesus know about our Father that allows Him (and us) to rest in the storm?
- God told us to expect storms. He is not surprised.
- God is for us.
- He loves us.
- He watches over us even while we sleep.
- God has promised to take even the hardest hards, and turn them to our good.
- This is our Father’s world. He holds everyone, and everything, in His hands.
- If God wants us to take action, He’ll let us know. Otherwise, we can rest in Him.
- We may not understand the WHY of the storm, but we do know the WHO above the storm, and that makes all the difference.
It’s Not Easy, but God is Good
My friend, I know that things probably aren’t easy for you today. Building a business, following Jesus, and living life this side of heaven, rarely is.
Harsh winds may be beating you down and life’s angry waves may be threatening what little you have. You may be sailing in seas so stormy that Hurricane Ian looks like a summer breeze.
From one sea-weary sailor to another, I want to remind us today, let’s turn our gaze away from the storm and look at Jesus instead.
With this beautiful night sky that God painted the day after Ian left, He showed me once again He’s not forgotten us. He’s not left us alone.
He is at peace.
Behind life’s storm Jesus saw His Father’s smile and He knew, all will be well.