Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Sometimes He calms the storm

There is a song by Scott Krippayne called "Sometimes He Calms the Storm," and personally, I'd like to stop with the title and have God calm every storm for me right away. However, that's not how life works, and so I'm grateful for the other part of this song-- that if God allows my storms to rage on, he promises to calm me in the middle of it all.

All who sail the sea of faith
Find out before too long
How quickly blue skies can grow dark
And gentle winds grow strong
Suddenly fear is like white water
Pounding on the soul
Still we sail on knowing
That our Lord is in control

Sometimes He calms the storm
With a whispered peace be still
He can settle any sea
But it doesn't mean He will
Sometimes He holds us close
And lets the wind and waves go wild
Sometimes He calms the storm
And other times He calms His child

He has a reason for each trial
That we pass through in life
And though we're shaken
We cannot be pulled apart from Christ
No matter how the driving rain beats down
On those who hold to faith
A heart of trust will always
Be a quiet peaceful place
--Scott Krippayne

I thought of this song because of a quote I read this morning:

"Christians are not exempt from heartache, but we do have the means to endure heartache without falling apart. For this we have Jesus... His grace, His sufficiency. For this we have His word...His promises, His wisdom." --Kay Arthur

2 Corinthians 12:8-9
Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."

How is his power made perfect in weakness?
When we depend on Christ, he strengthens us to endure, displaying his power in and through us.

Matthew 11:28-30
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

My pastor did a sermon on this passage several months ago. To clarify the meaning of "take my yoke upon you," he had two actual yokes as visual aids-- which I thought were just ways to demonstrate the different styles of yokes and what they look like. But it was more than that. The yokes were different styles for a specific reason.

This one is my yoke:

This one is Christ's:

It wasn't until the very end of the sermon that I finally saw his point: Christ's yoke is for two. Him and me. He bears my burdens when I seek him, submit, and ask him to walk along side me. Then when I am weak, he compensates with his strength to pull the load, but only when I go to him in prayer, read his word, and lean on him in trust and faith.

We all have burdens in this life, and the harder they are to bear, the more urgent the choice we must make-- Use yoke 1 and struggle feebly and helplessly alone against burdens too great, or walk with Jesus in yoke 2 and let his power bear my burdens so I am not crushed by their weight.

Which yoke will you choose today?

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