I've often wondered why it is that while we are going through life, trying to do God's will, that we end up going through some pretty tough times. You would think that if you are doing what you are supposed to do that things will be all smooth, the path will be clear, and that you wouldn't have any opposition. But thats not always what happens. Often before, during, or after some of the most fruitful or closest times I've had with God, I've had the toughest times. It doesn't seem like God is anywhere close by during those seasons. And it doesn't make sense to me, especially at that moment. Why did I end up in an abusive church and struggle for years healing from it when it was pretty clear God moved us to California? Why is it such a struggle to raise kids with FASD and past trauma, affecting our whole family, when we were clearly obeying God in bringing in two more kids? Why do we struggle financially when we have been faithful in giving and have been generous with what we have been given? And why did I have such a difficult week of headaches, exhaustion, and sickness right after including the birth family into our family's Thanksgiving? I don't know why. But these are just a few examples of when we felt God directing us, but the path was difficult and God seemed far away.
We are going through the book of John at our house church, The Gathering by the Bay. So last night we were at John 16:15-21. Jesus had just fed the 5,000 when he went to a quiet place to pray. In another book we see that he sent the disciples across the lake. After obeying Jesus and going across without him, a storm came up and almost killed them. They saw Jesus walking on the water, and when He came into the boat, the wind and waves were calmed.
We had a pretty good discussion about this passage. I'm so glad we can talk about what we have read. There were a lot of good points made by people. One of the things that hit me was that the disciples obeyed Jesus and left on their boats at night but the storm came anyway. And even though they didn't have him on the boat at first, Jesus was still there, walking on the water.
So when the storms of life come to me, I need to remember that God is still there. I shouldn't just immediately assume I am off course, or abandoned, or unworthy of His love. I want to be able to find God in the bad times in addition to the good times. It's been easy to thank God for the way he provided for me this week. But shouldn't I also thank Him for being with me through the bad times? I think so.