Wednesday, March 14, 2012

In the Midst of My Storm

I'm not sure if this post is me processing, confessing, or just sharing things I'm learning. Please forgive the awkward writing style that reflects the confusion. Today I was in Luke 8. I've been praying and processing through some circumstances and my heart in them. As I read Jesus calming the storm, I was struck by 2 things:
1- there was real danger. Luke didn't say it was perceived that the storm was sinking the boat. He says the boat was filling and the disciples were in danger and they knew it.
That's how I've been feeling. One circumstance I often grapple through is our finances. We aren't in trouble, but our daily needs are met through churches and individuals that give to our ministry, and at times, they give less than they committed to. Some even have to stop giving for various reasons and seasons which means we need to leave the studio to go meet with more churches and individuals. Since we set our salary based on needs, I'm always trying to figure out what our actual needs (versus wants) are. Should we save for a downpayment on a house or continue to rent? If we do buy, what is a reasonable pice range? Should we save to adopt children soon, look for funding, or wait? What is a modest budget and are we living too lavishly? It's continual. I'm encouraged that just as the dangers the disciples faced in their storm were real, our situation is also a real challenge we're facing, not perceived....

And 2- Jesus asked "Where is your faith?"Jesus told them to go over to the other side of the lake. This whole trip was his idea/plan. They just followed. He knew the danger they faced and he slept through it. They had seen His power and authority again and again. Yet, in their panic, they woke him to save them. He calmed the storm just like that and then asked where their faith was.

That's what I'm begging God to help me see in our circumstances. I LOVE our ministry and I don't want to grapple with lack of trust and miss the joy of serving the church worldwide! I want to know as we walk through this over the years where my faith is.

This month, as we looked at steps we'll need to take for our current financial season, we were convicted that many times we had leaned on our own understanding, not to God. We confessed that we have sought "help" in familiar places that didn't require much boldness or faith steps to meet our needs and our wants. We admitted that selfishness may leave some relationships strained if we continue to lean on them instead of God and we are now taking steps to apologize directly to them and not lean on them anymore.

Though humbling, it was mainly just freeing to see our lack of maturity and seek forgiveness. So now, as we prepare for our next steps, I'm begging him to help me in my weak faith and strengthen it so my trust is fully in Him alone. I want to remember confidently that He lead us here. It was His plan. He knew the "dangers" and He is with me during these real trials, teaching me to trust Him. And all His ways are good.

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