I am Human but I am His!

As a God-called preacher of the Gospel I always walk through my storms unfazed and every time I come out of a fiery time of testing you cannot even smell smoke on my clothes…wouldn’t it be great if this were true?  The truth is all of us, regardless of our standing and relationship with God, find ourselves from time to time in places that seem overwhelming.  We can put on our best face but deep down inside we are anxious and concerns about our survival cannot be denied.  Here is the deal – no matter how long you have been a Christian you are still human.  Tough times are part of life.

The disciples learned this fact to be true one night while sailing across the Sea of Galilee with Jesus.  Their assignment was to transport the Lord to the other side of the sea while He rested after a busy day of ministry.  They are experienced and well-equipped for the task so what could go wrong – and besides all this, Jesus is onboard the ship with them.

Sometime during the night a great storm arose.  The wind is strong and the waves are high.  The boat is violently reeling back and forth and is taking on water.  The disciples are doing the best they can to keep the ship together, but it appears in spite of their best efforts the ship is being destroyed and they will most certainly go down with it.  You have got to know they did not see this coming!

Finally, after what may have been hours fighting this storm, one of the disciples asked the question, “where is Jesus?”  He certainly was not helping them in this crisis.  They were doing all they could to keep the ship from coming apart, but Jesus was totally uninvolved.  As they began to look around – sure enough – they found Jesus where He had been all along – in the back of the ship fast asleep. 

One of the men cried out in desperation, “Lord, get up and help us!  We are dying!  Don’t you care?”  Jesus got up and in a calm resolute manner looked at the situation and said, “peace, be still.”  Immediately the wind stopped and the sea settled down.

I love this story because of all the practical truth it contains.  You would think the primary take-away from this lesson would be – the great faith of the disciples moved Jesus to respond with a miracle.  This, however, is in no way the case.  As a matter of fact, the disciples seem to be operating in fear not faith.  They did not cry out to Jesus saying, “Lord, we know you are all-powerful.  Help us in this situation.”  Their actual cry was, “Lord, help us.  We are about to die!”  They have heard His sermons, seen His miracles and love Him enough to leave all they have to follow Him – yet in this storm they are afraid.

If that storm caused the humanity of the disciples to be displayed, I probably should not be so hard on myself when events in my life cause mine to show.  I love Jesus and am fully committed to serving Him, yet sometime…sometimes I am afraid…sometimes I am overwhelmed…sometimes there just does not seem to be a way out.  I have watched Him move for me countless times, but this storm just feels different. 

Times like these cause me to relate to the man in Mark 9 who came to Jesus with a great need.  Jesus said to the man, “if you can believe, all things are possible.”  With tears streaming down his face, the man replied to Jesus, “Lord, I believe.  Help now my unbelief.”  I think the man was saying, “Jesus, I know you have all power – in no way do I doubt your ability.  I’m just wondering if you’re going to help me.”  He knew Jesus could, but he wasn’t sure Jesus would.

It is very important to note in both of the stories I have referenced in this article – the disciples in the storm and the man with a great need – Jesus intervened and gave a miracle.  He did this, not because of great faith, but because of His great love for His children.  This Father and son/daughter relationship trumps everything else!  Jesus really does love us!

This truth became very clear to me many years ago when my daughter, Kristina, was moving into her first apartment while a student at Lee University.  Donna and I were helping her get the apartment set up when I decided I should take her to the grocery store.  I wanted to make sure, before we left to go home, she had everything she needed.

Kris and I – along with her ridiculously small list of grocery items needed – headed to the supermarket.  As I pushed the cart down the store aisle, we passed many things I knew she liked but were not on her list.  I would point these items out to her and ask if she wanted them.  Each time she would reply, “Daddy, I don’t really need that right now.”  I would say, “but I know you like it.  You always eat this when you come home.  Let’s just get a little.”  This scenario repeated itself over and over.  I was having the best time shopping with my little girl and getting her all the things I knew she enjoyed.

It was not until we got to the checkout line that reality hit me!  As I watched the number getting larger and larger on the cash register, I realized Kris probably did not need all of those things right now…but it was too late.  I pulled out the American Express and paid for all the fun I had just had!

Now you can believe this or not, but right then and there – in the grocery store checkout line – the Holy Spirit spoke to me.  He said to me, “You’ve had a good time today giving your little girl things you know she likes.  If you then being earthly know how to give good things to your child, how much more will the Heavenly Father give the Kingdom to them who ask Him!”   He let me know He delighted in blessing me even more than I delighted in blessing my daughter!

You and I find ourselves, today, in some pretty difficult times.  A virus is raging throughout the world bringing fear, disruption and destruction with it.  Our political landscape has become acrimonious and bitter.  Forces are at work to divide our nation along racial, philosophical and economic lines.  Our enemy, the devil, is surely at work.

Many are facing intense personal battles.  Sickness, loneliness, fear…on and on the list goes.  These are not figments of our imagination – these problems are real and they hurt really bad.  To make matters worse, when we come to these times in our life there is that accusatory voice in our mind telling us, “this wouldn’t be happening to you if God really loved you.  You aren’t worthy of His love.”  We have all been there – some reading this are there right now.

I am so happy to have this opportunity to share some good news with you!  Regardless of what you are feeling and how bad you are hurting, Jesus loves you and will not forsake you because of your situation.  As a matter of fact, He wants to draw nearer and prove to you He is your answer.  He will not run from you – He is running to you!  You are His child – He is your Father!  You may not feel like a person of mighty faith and power – that is ok.  Just come to him as you are – He will not turn you away.

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me.  For I am meek and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”  (Matthew 11:28-30 MEV)

The devil tells me I am just a human without rights and without hope.  I tell the devil he is a liar – I am a human but my Father is the King!  I am human but I am His!

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