Trusting God for Guidance
When have you felt overwhelmed and needed God’s help?
In 2016, a Royal Caribbean cruise ship ran into a monster storm in the Atlantic Ocean, on a trip from New Jersey to Florida. Thousands of guests and crew members were buffeted by 150-mile-per-hour-winds that caused the ship to tip dangerously off center. Items flew off shelves, deck chairs took to the air, and the ceiling of the ship collapsed. The windows of the third floor were hit by 30-foot waves.
Four passengers were injured, and — not surprisingly — everyone got a full refund. That’s the least that Royal Caribbean could do for people who paid for rooms on the third floor and suddenly found themselves underwater.
Like the passengers on that cruise ship, we often find ourselves hit by surprising emotional and spiritual storms. We get shocked by personal betrayals, job losses, health crises, and situations in which we feel abandoned by loved ones, friends, and God. Like the author of the psalm, we cry out, “Answer me, Lord—and quickly! My breath is fading. Don’t hide your face from me or I’ll be like those going down to the pit!” (Psalm 143:7). We feel like the passengers on the cruise ship, fearing that we will end up on the bottom of the sea.
Unfortunately, not all of the storms of life will come to an end, nor will all difficulties be resolved and diseases be cured. So we are challenged to trust God as we make our way into the future, and look to God for guidance. “Tell me all about your faithful love come morning time, because I trust you,” says the psalm-writer. “Show me the way I should go, because I offer my life up to you” (verse 8).
Our challenge is to remember that God has created the world and is in control of it, even when chaos seems to reign and evil seems to triumph. In tough times, we can have faith that Jesus loves us and is working for an ultimate good, even when waves beat around us. When we offer up our lives to God, we will find that the Holy Spirit is giving us strength and inner peace, even when we’re feeling stressed and exhausted and at the end of our ropes.
Faith is what keeps us going in spite of the depressing, disappointing, and demoralizing circumstances around us, and it enables us to face an uncertain future without fear. When we put our trust in God, we receive guidance that will help us to continue to move forward as disciples of Jesus, sharing his faith, hope, and love with people around us.
We may not always receive a miraculous rescue from the storms that hit us. Enormous waves might still hit us. But with a focus on trust in the Lord, we can believe that God’s faithful love is always with us. Nothing in all creation can separate us from the God who created us and wants to be in relationship with us forever.
Almighty God, help us to trust in you and receive your guidance, especially in stormy times. Amen.