I told y'all last week that our small group is discussing the writing in Matthew 14 about Jesus walking on the water. As I was studying this week, I found the phrase 'Storms Shape Us!' scribbled in my own hand in the margin of my Bible. As I thought more about this, I realized how true this is. The things in my life, most notably the dramatic and emotionally exhausting things, are the ones that looking back have made the most profound impact on my life and faith.
Among those 'storms' that I have had to wade through, the biggest obstacle to my being 'successful' is myself. Is it strange that I am my own worst enemy? This isn't new to those of you who have been reading for a while... I have had many conversations with myself as I have been writing this blog, creating, and forging my way through motherhood. The voice inside myself often works against that of God, telling me of my constant inadequacies and the lie that nothing I do will ever be good enough. So on a daily basis, I have to tell that voice to just stop, and I force myself to be quiet long enough to hear the still, small voice of the One True God. And He doesn't lie.
I love in the account in Matthew 14 that Jesus doesn't calm the storm before he tells Peter to come onto the water. It isn't until He climbs into the boat that the wind dies down. This is such a beautiful portrait of a relationship with Him. There will be storms. I can't tell you anything but that fact because it's true. But He will always hold out his hand and say 'Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid.' (verse 27). The Master Potter allows us to be shaped by the storm, all the while holding our hand as it gets scary.
So what are the storms that have shaped you? There is nothing in this life, my lovely friends, that will cause Him to abandon you.