Once Upon a Stormy Night

by Lesley on February 26, 2008 · 6 comments

in christianity,family,lessons learned

In third grade, my mom signed Scott and I up for sailing lessons at the South Lake, (not to be confused with the North Lake; the other fake body of water about a mile from our house). I think third grade was probably the age I had just started in on the Babysitter’s Club series and was barrelling through a book each week, costing my parents a fortune and causing concern that I wasn’t hanging out with other children my age. (Further proof of my developing non-social tendencies: I saved my allowance money to purchase a denim bean bag chair so that I’d never have to leave my room.)

I can picture my mom and dad, whispering over hushed tones after we’d gone to bed, deciding it would be best for me to get some fresh air that summer. Soon, I found myself in Sailing 101, fearing for my life on the high seas. Naturally, Scott kicked my butt in the lessons just as he did in every other sport during my childhood. One afternoon, as the wind really kicked up, I found myself flying out of the boat, crying and panicked, swearing I’d never return. I never passed the class. I did, however, finish (and own) all 131 Babysitter’s Club books. (And yes, I did just Google “Babysitters Club” and download a PDF of all the books titles to reminisce.)

Anyway, back on track: I’ve since had two other very scary moments on boats. Once, while visiting Jenny’s family in Alaska, all of us girls got stranded out on the lake when the boat’s motor died. (When Jenny and Katie went into shore to find help, I thought they might die from a Grizzly bear attack. This did not happen and we all survived. It was scary though. I promise.) Then, last summer, Jonathan and I found ourselves out kayaking in Hawaii, with no signs of wind, only to have gusts suddenly kick up unexpectedly. As we fought our way back to shore, me crying and him yelling, “We’re GOING TO MAKE IT! DON’T GIVE UP!”… I literally thought it might be the end.

So, when our pastor talked about Luke 8 this Sunday at church, I was right there with him, hanging on each word. Luke 8 is when Jesus and the disciples are out on the lake and he falls asleep. A storm kicks up out of nowhere and so the disciples freak out and wake him. He asks, “Where is your faith?” And then, with a simple rebuking, the wind stops.

What is your figurative storm? We all have them–whether it be at work, with family, or in school– and just like the disciples, we’re often out on the water really enjoying ourselves when the storm appears out of nowhere! Yet, the storm isn’t too big for Christ. In fact, there is no where else in the bible where it says, “Jesus slept.” Obviously, we know he slept during the course of his 33 years, yet it’s interesting it’s specifically mentioned in this passage.

During windy storms, I hate the feeling of not having control. I want control so badly sometimes that, as my pastor said, “We wait until the boat is filled with water, and the sail is ripped before we cry out.” And yet, as soon as the disciples cry out in desperation, he commands the storm to cease.

Sometimes, we cry out and God doesn’t answer right away. I don’t believe this is because he hasn’t “awaken” to our cries. When we yell out he’s already there in the boat with us. He’s riding the waves, and pulling the sail tight. One thing He isn’t doing is handing us the life jacket. He’s not prepared for us to go in. He’s keeping us safe and taking control. Because, if He has authority over wind and waves, surely He can conquer our everyday storms.

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6 comments
Lesley Miller
Lesley Miller

Katie: 1. Don't like Miley or Hannah Montana, whatever her name is. 2. Lakes, no. Ponds, Yes. 3. I am still traumatized by the Target book slicer and refuse to talk about it. 4.Me=Queen of Fake Sleeping. 5. Definitely Lesa who freaked...I was the one consoling her as she pictured our death. Speaking of freaked, when you yelled "BEAR" I thought my life was over. 6. Going to Alaska that summer was one of the better decisions I've ever made. Even though I was broke and put it on my credit card.

Katie
Katie

1- Isn't she going by "Hannah Montana?" I prefer she does and hope to marry a man who has a last name that can easily rhymn with a cute first name. (not really)2- Can you really call those "lakes?"3- I wish you would have shared the story about how you hid a book in the plants before you went into Target and when you came out someone had cut the book into pieces. Oh man, I love that story- it's making me tear up in laughter just thinking about it. 4- While your parents were concerned about your anti-social reading obsession, mine seemed to be secretly mocking me for it and took pictures of me all the time while on vacation reading a book by myself. They still do this actually. Oh and I have a vivid memory of throwing a book under the covers and fake sleeping so my mom wouldn't know I was reading. If we had been friends when we were little, we could have started a "reading rebels" club where we shared secrets on how to sneak a few pages in without the parents knowing.5- That boat incident in AK, was so freaky but the visual in my head from that trip is your face, covered in giant mosquito bites. Also, my memory is a bit foggy, did you or Lesa have the freak out while Jenny and I went searching for help? Remember the albino porcupine? When I tell that story I'm pretty sure most people assume I am exaggerating. Oh gosh, another image of you just popped into my head- the image of your face when I ran out of the cave screaming and pretending like there was a bear. I wish I had a picture of that classic expression.6- I loved your last paragraph. Inspiring.7- Nothing more to say but I felt that I should end on number 7 instead of number 6 because I am silly.

Amy Vogt
Amy Vogt

First of all, I also love those books. What I really love is that after you'd read a few, you could practically skip the first thirty pages of the book that they spent introducing all of the characters. I think that's why I could blow through those books so quickly! Secondly, that blog post was especially enjoyable as I was listening to Miley Cyrus'"Ready Set Don't Go." She's so moving! haha!

Lesley Miller
Lesley Miller

Same for me Corinne! I feel the hardest times can be the best times in knowing God's ever present being...until things get easier again and I tend to put Him back in his box.

*corinne
*corinne

Sheesh, I was such a huge Babysitters Club fan as well. That's an awesome idea, to glance over all the titles for a fun reminiscing sesh. Hmmmm... those storms of life... I always find myself more drawn and reliant upon God in those times. I think my faith is at it's strongest when I go through difficult times, and I've learned how to trust that God will take care of me. That sounds like a cliche, but it's really not, and that's truly exactly what I've learned. My issue is the rest of the time, when I "don't need him", and my faith often sits stagnant and lukewarm.

Chasen
Chasen

Solid. This is the first time I have read your blog and I thoroughly enjoyed this new posting. What an encouragement!! Hope all is well. We miss you guys.