Yesterday I drove in a rain storm. I can’t remember the last time I was caught in such torrential rain. My car was deep in the water. It was bad! I wanted to meet a friend to talk about the Lord and have some fellowship time so I made my way there despite the bad weather. It didn’t look like the smartest idea but I was driven and I pushed through the obstacles that were put in front of me by this crazy weather. I dislike the feeling you get when your car is hydroplaning and it happened a lot on the way to my friend’s place. It reminded me that there are times when we have to go through deep waters to make it to our destination. Life is not always smooth sailing. We are not always cruising happily down the road of “Joy land.” We will encounter tunnels that will make everything dark. We will spend time in some bad valleys. There will be days when the sun can’t be found but we can stay assured that with the Lord we will go through the rivers and come out dry. We might get soaked and drenched for some time but let’s be of good cheer because God guarantees that His sun will dry again.
One thing that is not always easy to see is that those deep rivers have a significant role. They are not pleasant but they create something in us. They birth not only a sense of accomplishment once we have gone through them but they also forge our characters. I like to say that trials and bad situations forge our character of faith. They give us the faith muscles we need to carry a bigger load next time. It doesn’t feel good when we are going through the rivers. No one can deny that but in the end, it will build us up and give us the strength to handle more in the future. At the gym, building muscles is not a fun time. When you build muscles you tear them, you stretch them and it hurts. Think of your faith being stretched during tribulations. It expands. It gets bigger. It gets stronger. The process will hurt. The process will make you uncomfortable but the dividends are huge. I want to stretch my faith so much that it is big enough to cover other people when they are knee-deep in the water. Your faith can encourage others who are going through hard times. It has to get a bit larger first.
When I was driving in the flood, for lack of a better word, I didn’t feel too safe. All I knew to do was praise the Lord and thank Him for being with me. I must have said that a hundred times before I got to my friend’s. It didn’t prevent the rain from falling but it encouraged me and it changed my mindset. Sometimes God wants to see our frame of mind change before our circumstances improve. While we are going through the deep rivers, there is some major inner work that can take place. As we stay in faith, we are twisting our minds so they align with God’s mind and we are training our spirits to stay calm and to rely on God. Next time you are going through an ocean of problems, remember that God will part the waters for you as you stand your ground. You might have to thank Him over a hundred times. You might have to get yourself stirred up on the inside when everything around you is screaming fear and defeat. Let the voices fade away as your faith makes a way. There is some beautiful divine intervention on your path. The rain is not always going to be in the way. Keep driving. Keep smiling. Keep believing. Keep stretching your faith. The stronger the stretch, the bigger the rest. Faith allows you to rest in the Lord’s peace. The deep waters today are forming a deeper faith in you. Stay encouraged!
Suggested reading: Deuteronomy 31:6; John 14:26-27; 1 John 5:5