Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Laura Groves of OutnumberedMom.
Ever feel a storm coming on?
Waves crashing all around, stuff closing in on you, and nowhere to go.
Whether it’s problems with peers, grades, family or just plain old adolescent angst, it’s easy for teens to feel like they’re in a boat in the middle of a storm. Parents can feel the same way! And sometimes, tragedy and hard times do strike.
What to do then? How do we as parents lead our families through the storm?
We lead best when we look upward. The gospel of Mark tells the story of a frightening storm. When the disciples realized they were in peril, they panicked much like we do when faced with the unexpected. They forgot what we also fail to remember—that Jesus is in the boat. They weren’t alone; we aren’t alone.
We look at the waves, the clouds, the impossible situation…instead of looking at the One who holds all those in his hands. When we see God as big as he really is, our perspective on hardship changes.
How big is God?
- He measures the heavens with the span of his fingers (Isaiah 40).
- And we think he can’t handle our problems?
- We’re better off doing this on our own?
What is God capable of?
- He can be our ultimate friend (John 15:15). The worst feeling in the world is not being “picked,” but he chose us!
- He can be our provision (Philippians 4:13). When things are tough we too often reach inside ourselves, and we’re already depleted. He can provide all our needs.
- He can calm the storm, and even the winds and waves obey him (Mark 4). He faced those winds with an upraised hand, commanding them to stop. We need to learn to run to the biggest thing in our boat.
So when we face hard times, instead of trying fix things or reaching inside to drum up enough perseverance to get through, we need to turn to God. As we make him bigger in our lives, our perspective evens out. As we get closer to him, his spirit crowds out our earthbound perspective. His joy becomes ours; his peace is available to us. We begin to trust that he is at work in all things and his time is perfect.
And how do we get close?
- By talking to him, telling him the good and bad, the hard and easy. He’s God. He can take it.
- By praising him, thanking him for all the things in our lives, from the big to the small. When we express thankfulness over the smallest detail of life, we’re acknowledging that everything comes from him.
- By surrounding ourselves with the family of God, not the culture of human endeavor—people who believe how big God really is.
The first question most people ask when facing a difficult situation or tragedy is, “Why is this happening to me?”
But once we take the focus off of us and place it on the savior, our minds and spirits are turned in the right direction.
So, run to him—the biggest thing in your boat.
About the Author: Laura Lee Groves, author of I’m Outnumbered! One Mom’s Lessons in the Lively Art of Raising Boys, is a writer, speaker, and high school English teacher. She inspires and encourages moms on her blog, Outnumbered Mom.