Five years ago I started a new journey in life. A journey to become a mommy. I knew at the time that my doctor diagnosis of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome would make it harder, but not impossible. I knew with a bit of hope and a lot of faith, I would succeed in my endeavors. And so while I knew it wouldn’t be easy, I was still excited. Fist pumping the air and shouting, “This will be our month!” while planning our future baby nursery were my daily activities.
Well…at least for the first couple of years anyway.
Looking back, I never thought for one second, one moment, that despite the odds stacked up against me that I would still be sitting here today with the same hope of hearing the sweet cries of a newborn at night… And having the same dream of feeling their soft warm skin against mine each morning.
As hard as it is to admit, five years of waiting has taken its toll on me. The excitement has worn off. The optimism isn’t always there. The doubt creeps in more than I would like. And the worry and fear often times overshadows my once strong hope and faith. Especially after another negative pregnancy test that I just knew should have been positive.
And as time marches on, I have come to realize that starting something new is usually fun, and even easy because we are full of emotions to help us. Everyone around even seems to be cheering us on; letting us know they are praying. And obviously arriving to the end of our journey is also exciting; a time of celebration. But it’s the middle that causes us problems. It’s in the middle that storms start raging and the excited emotions of hope are hard to hold on to or even find. It’s in the middle that we might question God, question His plan, and question ourselves. It’s the middle of our journey that people put down their pom poms and stop cheering for you. At least openly. It’s there in the middle of the journey that tests our faith. And friend? I feel like I am somewhere in the middle right now. And I am being tested.
But do you know what keeps me going, not letting go of my hope, and standing firm in my faith while on a tiresome journey that seems to get worse, not better? Longer, not shorter. It’s the story of the disciples in Mark Chapter 4.
It was in the middle of their journey to cross over to the other side of the sea that they experienced a storm that stole their peace and robbed them of hope. It was there in the middle that they let their circumstances dictate their emotions. And cause them to question everything Jesus had ever done and everything He told them He would do.
It was there in the middle. Not the end. And not the beginning.
If you are not familiar with the story, it begins with Jesus meeting the disciples on the shore, stepping onto their boat, and saying, “Let us go over to the other side.” As the plot thickens, they begin to cross the sea; but half way there, a storm of hurricane proportions arose and the disciples became petrified. Their eyes were bugged out as they huddled together in a corner holding one another and giving their last will. But Jesus? He was asleep. Asleep! Can you believe that?! A storm of hurricane proportions and Jesus is asleep? The frustration was evident in the disciples words because as the story continues, they frantically wake Jesus up, asking (probably sarcastically) if He was sleeping. Even accusing the King of Kings of not caring about their situation. Not being concerned they were dying. Or at the very least hurt.
Jesus, getting up and probably rubbing the sleep from His eyes in a seemingly nonchalant way, rebuked the wind and calmed the waves, but not after turning to His disciples and rebuking them for being so afraid. And for still having no faith in Him. Ouch, right? Sometimes I sit back and want to point my finger in disgust at the disciples. After all, they walked and talked with Jesus. They had watched Him perform many miracles, yet they still had trouble believing Him for their own needs. But sometimes aren’t we like that? We hear and see of miracles happening daily, circumstances changing, and desires being fulfilled, yet we have a hard time having faith He will do the same for us?
But friend, take comfort in the last verse of this story because it says, “They came to the other side of the sea.” They arrived to safe ground just as Jesus promised. However, the most important lesson I want you to take away from this story is this. Nowhere after Jesus made His promise did He mention how long it would take, or how difficult the journey would be. He simply expected them to believe His promise and then trust Him with the details of Him fulfilling it.
But that’s hard to do, isn’t it?
Some of you might be reading this and are having trouble leaving the details of when and how your miracle will happen. You might be running yourself into the ground trying to figure it out or make it work. But don’t. Hold your peace. Rest in His unfailing love for you and His promise to see you through. Trust in Him when time keeps on ticking or a storm in the form of unanswered prayers, negative pregnancy tests, shattered plans, or other obstacles stand in the way of your desires being fulfilled. Trust in Him despite His sometimes silence.
Don’t get so lost in the wind and so focused on the waves that you forget nothing is impossible with Him. Or let go of the simple truth that He is the same yesterday, today, and forever and that what He did for your friend, your neighbor, or your co-worker, He is also willing to do for you. Friend, Jesus is on this journey with you. He is in your boat. And He will get you to the other side. Rest in that truth today. Maybe even take a nap. Choose to enjoy the journey, despite the storms, while on you are on your way to reaching your destination. After all, isn’t that what Jesus did?
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