Let God Have The Ending

They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
Mark 4:41

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of being a guest blogger for the Godly Chic Diaries. The article, also featuring the story of Jesus and the disciples in the boat found in Mark 4, was entitled Power through Panic with Prayer. You can read it here.

To say I was anxious was an understatement. My mind flooded with what if’s the moment I found out my husband was returning home from an 8 month deployment. What if he’s different? What if I’m different? How will the reunion go? I couldn’t help but imagine countless scenarios but the truth was, I had no idea what to expect.

Do you struggle with anticipating a bad ending to a situation before it happens? Our minds race three steps ahead, assuming a negative outcome that may not be true. Perhaps you mentally process how a conversation will play our and then resort to avoiding it because there’s no way it will go well.

In Mark 4, we find the disciples in a boat with Jesus after a long day of ministering. Verses 37-38 say, A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples panicked.

Overwhelmed by the situation, they wake Jesus in dramatic fashion – “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” This was no gentle jostle of the shoulder while speaking in a calm, low volume as to not startle Jesus awake. Panic screamed from their lungs as they shook Him conscious. They had already determined the outcome and it was certain death. They had done all they could and drowning seemed imminent.

He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey Him!”

When we experience difficult circumstances, it may feel like they will never end. We may conclude that God doesn’t care. Like the disciples, we may fail to recognize the power of Who is with us. But no suffering lasts forever. And God does care. He allows us to endure the doom in order to develop a dependence on Him. He proves His power through the process, demonstrating His control over the ending.

Isaiah 43:2 reminds us, When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. So let’s expect God to calm the storms of life’s unexpected events. Let’s put our faith in the One who orchestrates every detail of our day. Because even the biggest of waves obey Him.

Life’s Unexpected Turns

Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.
Proverbs 19:21

Some days just simply don’t go as planned. They may start off well, but then, without warning, turn sideways, never to be fully recovered. This was one of those days.

After a couple of busy weeks, I finally had a day to complete all the grunt work I’d been putting off – vacuuming, mopping, and laundry. Mounds of laundry.

But first, the gym. I knew that if I didn’t exercise first it wouldn’t happen. Once I completed my workout, mentally checking off the first “To-Do List” item, I headed home in my car.

As I pulled out into the street, a loud rumble caught my attention. Something didn’t feel right either. A sinking feeling came over me… could I have a flat tire?

Sure enough, I did. In that moment of realization, I knew the day would unfold much differently than I had originally planned. Maybe you can relate. Unexpected traffic causes a missed appointment. An infant’s blowout requires a trip home to change. A long-anticipated vacation is dashed by a significant life event. We’ve all been surprised from time to time, either by little hang-ups or devastating loss.

What can be done when life suddenly turns sideways? That day with the flat tire, I wanted to sit on the curb and cry. I wanted to focus on the disappointment of my well-intentioned day and sulk. I wanted to have a pity party. But Proverbs 19:21 came to mind, which says, many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. The verse gave me hope that maybe God had a purpose hidden in my messed-up plans.

The next four hours were spent replacing the flat tire with a spare, watching the spare go flat, receiving a tow to the tire shop, and buying four new tires. My time, energy, and finances were emptied that day. And if that was all I chose to focus on, I would have missed the ways God was encouraging me to trust Him. He gave me the ability to change the tire, something I had never done before. He gave me the determination to not give up when the spare went flat. And He blessed me with the opportunity to have new tires placed on my vehicle, an overdue necessity.

God’s purpose was going to prevail that day whether I liked it or not. Initially, I felt anxious, agitated, and angry over my circumstances. But with the Lord’s help, my heart changed. His protection and provision led to assurance He was in control, confidence He had a plan, and comfort in knowing He was with me each step of the way. And that was His true purpose – His blessing in disguise.

Lord, thank you for showing me that even when I make plans, I must allow them to unfold under your purpose. Teach me to honor You with how I manage the events of my day.