Living a Life of Congruence
Posted in Trust/Patience
Anticipate God’s Glory During Your Storms
“Right now I am storm-tossed. And what am I going to say? ‘Father, get me out of this’? No, this is why I came in the first place. I’ll say, ‘Father, put your glory on display.’ A voice came out of the sky: ‘I have glorified it, and I’ll glorify it again.’” John 12:27-28 (The Message)
Excerpt from Eugene Peterson’s As Kingfishers Catch Fire: “This is the only prayer of Jesus in which we hear the Father speak…. All three tenses are comprehended in the prayer: glory in the past, glory in the present, glory in the future. Anticipation of glory ends up as participation in glory.”
Have you ever watched the movie, The Perfect Storm? It’s a story of commercial fishermen who, despite weather radar warnings of incoming storms from various directions, ventured on a quest for the largest and tastiest fish that would surely rake in the big bucks. Three fierce storms from three directions converged at the specific location of the fishermen causing knock-you-down winds and powerful, surging waves.
That’s the picture in my mind as I read The Message’s interpretation of John 12:27: “Right now I am storm-tossed….”
I’ve felt storm-tossed before: hit on all sides, knocked to my knees in prayer, mind swirling because I can’t see or think straight. Last year, in fact, during a concentrated time of packing up our home, closing on it, then finding out the same day we lost the next home we had planned to move into, our teenagers went through a time of raging disobedience; our marriage was starting to crack; two of our parents were diagnosed with Cancer and needed our constant attention; and our oldest child was leaving our nest, bringing on a downpour of mama tears. The perfect storm. My first impulse prayer was, “Father, get me out of this!” And Jesus gets it. His situation was far more grave than mine, but he gently whispered to me, “I get it, child.”
In the book of John, Jesus teaches us to go beyond the feeling and impulse prayer, though. At the height of his own perfect storm, he admits he feels storm-tossed, he remembers God (and through that remembers the Son’s role in God’s plan), and prays out loud, “Father, put your glory on display.” This verse teaches me four actions to take:
- When I feel storm-tossed, I must first realize it’s a feeling, not a reality;
- I must remember God’s sovereignty is greater than my best plan;
- It’s important to take a breath, then I must pray that he’ll use me in this circumstance to further his plan; and
- Wait (yes, waiting is an action, and if you think about it, it takes a lot of inner strength to do it!) in anticipation for his glory to be put on display.
And right in the middle of our storms, he’ll meet us. He’ll tell us to open our eyes to what we can learn during the storm. He may even give us a glimpse of his plan, and we’ll begin to better understand our roles. And the whole time, in the waiting, I should anticipate that his plan — which will certainly be awesome — will come to fruition. His glory will be revealed, because as he promised, it was revealed to me, my husband, and our three children last year, especially during that storm, which forced the five of us to participate faithfully in it.
Now on this side of the storm, the five of us say, “Look how God helped us through. He was with us all along!” And with these new eyes, we can more confidently see his glory as it’s being revealed in the present, and we will continue to look for it in the future. Praise be to God!
Prayer: You are sovereign, Lord! When storms hit me on all sides, help me remember you. Remind me that you were in charge in the past, you are today, and you will be tomorrow. Thanks be to you, Lord, for pulling me through the storms, helping me grow in my faith, and reminding me to live in anticipation of your glory. Amen.
Submitted by: Caroline C. Bennett