I was listening to a young Christian giving his testimony the other night at church and he said “It’s not been all smooth sailing…”. Immediately I had a flash of what it must have been like for the disciples the night the weather got stormy when in their boat. There was panic within the boat as they watched horrified at the tempest around them. They turned and looked at Jesus to seek reassurance from him but he lay there sleeping peacefully. Their thoughts were ‘how can he sleep through this? Doesn’t he know of the danger we’re in?’ In their travel through rough seas they had forgotten, or perhaps they didn’t know, of the power Jesus had and the control he possessed. In fact, they stated afterward in amazement, “He commends even the winds and water, and they obey him” (Luke 8:25). So it would appear that even though they knew he had powers they were completely unaware of the full extent of those powers. They were even unsure exactly who Jesus was, hence their question “who is this?” (Luke 8:25NIV).
We know who He is though and are often guilty of forgetting the power He has in restoring our lives back to ‘smooth sailing’. When the boat is rocking violently it is difficult to remember that God has total control of the situation and all we have to do is to call on His son and He will calm the seas for us. All we can think of at the time is that we are about to be washed overboard and possibly drowned in the flood of problems we are experiencing at that particular moment. We would do well to remember that we can afford to take time out and call on Jesus. That a couple of minutes or even a half hour spent in prayer apart from the problem might not take the problem away, but will perhaps put it in a different perspective for us, God’s perspective, and that it will be solved or that we will be guided through it. Certainly the panic will be contained and we can go back into the problem with a renewed vigour. In other words, we should take our eyes off the problem and place them on Jesus, leaving Him to take control and do with it as He will.
I know it’s easy to think “I haven’t the time to spend in prayer” but we must learn to get our priorities right. Moving about in a rocking boat isn’t going to stop it from rocking but being still for a short while will surely help the rocking to subside. Taking time for a deep breath and short prayer will often help a situation to calm down. But don’t forget to thank God afterward. Many times I have prayed a short prayer for help and remembered quite sometime afterward that I had forgotten to thank God for His help. Thanking Him should be just as automatic as asking for His help.
Our lives won’t always be smooth sailing, the boat will often rock but if we remember Psalm 46:10 and take time to throw anchor, in other words, to say a prayer, always keeping our eyes on the Lord and not the problem, then we won’t drown. He will always uplift us.