Location, location, location!! Right?
Well, what if there’s a hurricane at your location? I’m sitting on the front porch of a beach house in N. Myrtle Beach, typing to you, watching sideways rain (a la Forest Gump) under a canopy of grey skies… it ain’t beautiful by any stretch. But it’s the beach!
Yesterday I was in 4 1/2ft of water working on my 5yr old’s swimming excellence, covered in sunscreen, enjoying the beauty of true beach-living. Same place. Different weather.
Ain’t that life? Sometimes where we stand is all beautiful & easy to embrace. When Grace & I are communicating well, & my boys are happy, no one in my small group is suffering, & my folks have had a good week… that’s an embraceable scenario. And I do have those. And I thank God for my house & my city, my family & my church in those times. I celebrate the broken road that brought me here. All is well…
But then it rains. And when it rains, it pours. And sometimes the downpour comes with torrential patterns that knock me over. Strong winds from the wrong direction, hail that serves me no good & just messes things up, flash floods & blizzards… & if I pray… I’m not grateful. I’m mad. I’m doubting the Master’s plan. I’m on an island… a sad, desperate island where I get occasional deliveries of empathy, but not one solution dawns my door. God has forgotten me. And even taking my angst to social media is unfulfilling!! All is lost.
I do that. This is not a rant to bring conviction to someone else. This is not a, ‘I sure hope they read this’ kind of a thing. This is me. Forgetting that weather changes all the time. And that sometimes, forecasts are accurate. Sure, I get shocked by an occasional cloud or drought. But for the most part, the gray cloud coming my way means rain. And it’s on me if I ‘brave it’ & leave the umbrella at home.
But I’m at the beach. And Arthur, as formidable as he is today, has turned away from me. It’s been gross today. But our baby is sleeping. Our oldest needs my help with his computer game. I love my wife. I’m down here with my folks & sister. And God… Matthew 14:22-33 reveals some odd truths about our storms. I won’t get all preachy, which is my nature! But read it. And then read this… Jesus left them to be alone. He knew the storm was coming. And he… left them. And he went & prayed. And he knew the storm they were in. And then… wait for it… on the 4th watch, he came. The 4th watch!?! The fourth follows the first, second & third watches. And he waited through all of those. And then he just walked by. Didn’t announce his presence. He allowed them to get a glimpse of him, & he waited for their faith to provoke them to act. And yes, he saved them. But it wasn’t all on Jesus. It was about faithful people riding out a storm that hit while they were simply living out their lives. And Jesus even scolded them for not having more faith. And in the end, the storm was about worshipping Jesus. Not surviving. Not getting through. Not anything… just Jesus.
So here’s to your impending 4th Watch. I hope you’re near the end of your storm. And I hope you’ve got the faith & wherewithal to see The Lord as he passes by. He’s there. Maybe he’s praying. Maybe he’s watching you. Or maybe he’s waiting for you to step out & come to him. Either way, storm’s pass. And this is the beach…