I’m Just Not Flexible By Nature

Have you ever heard of the resiliency of reeds?  In the midst of incredible storms, raging winds and unrelenting rain-reeds survive to see another day.

Why do reeds survive strong winds and raging storms?  Reeds were created to bend and sway when the winds blow.  Sometimes they are blown hard enough to touch the ground.  Been there?  Have you literally had the wind knocked out of you?

Surprisingly, reeds don’t become uprooted because they were created to stay put in the storm, yet move with each gust.  And so the reeds see another sunrise and await yet another storm.

Does it strike you as odd that God would create a plant-although delicate in appearance-to survive even the strongest of storms?

How are you when storms of life come?

In Luke 8:22-26 Jesus and his disciples got into a boat with the hope of reaching the other side of a lake.  As they sailed, Jesus fell asleep.  A storm came down over the lake and they were in danger.  Asleep in the boat that was being tossed wildly, the disciples began to panic. They woke Jesus, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown.”  Jesus then rebukes the storm but is wondering why his disciples are in a panic.

What a picture of our Savior.  Still.  Resting.  Even in the middle of a storm.

While the storm Luke recounts was physical-the storms we face are often spiritual, emotional, and mental.  However, Jesus’ example is fit for all storms of life.

Jesus stilled the storm.  The wind and rain responded to the intonation and authority of His voice.  And all was still.

In the same way, if we desire that stillness, we must come under the authority of His command.  We must choose to respond to His voice, authority, and teaching.

Once my very quiet 13 year old came howling into my bedroom.  I struggled to get an explanation for his erratic behavior.  When he couldn’t use words, he showed me his belly.  While he was jumping/diving onto his bed, he failed to notice the sharp pencil nestled in his bedspread.  Once he jumped, the pencil poked through his shirt and stuck into his skin.  By the time he arrived in my room, the only thing remaining of his altercation with the pencil was not visible to my eye.  As he lifted his shirt, I saw the lead, fully intact, still lodged in his tummy.  I wanted to run.  It was unlike anything I had ever done.  But I recognized quickly that I-first and foremost- needed him to be still!  This was not an easy response for him.  He was tentative and full of fear.  However, when he finally relented, I was able to quickly and gently pull the lead from his tummy.  Problem solved…and quickly.

My son’s response-to the authority of my voice-took the longest.  However, his reward for doing so was exceptional…relief!  If I’m honest-the longest road of any of my numerous struggles has been paved by my own resistance.  Once I’ve resigned my own efforts, I find the storm-although sometimes raging on-to be far less powerful than my initial assessment.

Stillness scares me sometimes.  Does it you?  I might have to deal with myself if I exercise the discipline of waiting.  My fears and disappointments.  My concerns or unanswered prayers.  These are very real storms in my life, and maybe yours too.

What if in the storms of our life God’s desire is to push us toward safety or freedom?  How often, during the storms of our life, we miss God’s provision because we aren’t still?  We run to solve life’s problems and so exercise our self-sufficiency.

Stillness is an act of waiting.  Listening.  Believing.  And responding to the authority and voice of Jesus.  Frankly, I’m tired of trying to still life’s storms on my own.  So as the winds blow, and they will, I only hope to be as resilient as a reed and survive to greet a new day.

This storm too shall pass…that’s a hope worth holding on to!!

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