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Rough Times

February 28th, 2011

“He was afraid, and beginning to sink, he cried out, ‘Lord, save me.’” Matthew 14:30 NKJV

“When life is not working out as it should, reach out for help that helps.”

My thoughts today are about “rough times.”

Everything is well; life is good, and then your situation becomes anything but assuring. Life can go from exhilarating to exhausting in a quick turn of events. As you projected the good times would last forever, you might now project your fear to mean this turn of events will be your end. You can feel like adversity will write the end of your story.

There will be frightening moments in life – situations that turn badly, much differently than you foresaw. Everything will not always happen the way you hoped it would. Life is not determined by what you experience, but it is shaped by your responses in such moments.

Simon Peter, along with Jesus’ disciples, was in a boat in a violent storm at sea when Jesus appeared, walking on the water. They could not believe their eyes. They seemed more anxious than comforted by His arrival on the water. Nothing about this fit their understanding or experience of the sea. Read Matthew 14:22-33 NKJV. At Jesus’ invitation, Peter got out of the boat, and beyond belief, found himself doing the incomprehensible. “Peter . . walked on water to go to Jesus.” He was walking on water! Can you imagine the exhilaration he felt at that moment?

Wouldn’t it be exciting if the story ended there? It rarely does. “But when he saw the wind was boisterous, he was afraid.” Suddenly, his exhilaration turned to personal terror. People can’t walk on water, his logic reasoned. And his courage evaporated. He was definitely “out of his element.” Life will take you places unfamiliar and uncertain. Life has a way of distracting you from unchanging reality; you can easily lose sight of the one constant about everyday life.

Everything changes but this; God who was with you when all was well is still there when your world feels like it is falling apart. What you do then determines how your story will turn out. “And beginning to sink Peter cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’” Thankfully, God is there when you cry out for Him; actually, He was there all the time.

You can’t save yourself in such times. You can’t break those tenacious habits on your own. You can’t straighten out your life when you’ve messed it up. You can’t fix relationships that are broken. You can’t save your marriage when it’s breaking, or your business when it’s failing, or your life when it’s not working. Only one thing works; admit you’re sinking, no excuses, no explanations. Reach out for help that helps. A lot of people will try to help; God can and will.

“Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him . . and when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.” Notice the phrase, “when THEY got in the boat, the wind ceased.” Not only does God not leave you in the waves, He will not leave you in the storm, and He continues with you in your journey! In the waves or in the boat, both are safe with Jesus. “He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we may boldly say, ‘The Lord is my helper so I will not be afraid . .’” Hebrews 13:5-6 NKJV. God knows how to calm the storm as well as save you from it; God can bring you safely where you need to be.

My prayer for you today is that you see God working in the rough times and be unafraid.

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