Late yesterday the winds began to blow. All evening and into the night I heard fallen leaves blow against our windows and outside walls.
I awoke this morning to news of power outages (thankfully not at our house), light poles down, tree damage, and broken windows across town. When I went outside I saw overturned trash cans and torn Christmas decorations.
A wind advisory continues today. I’ll need to venture out briefly this afternoon, but I am otherwise cocooned, safe and comfortable, inside my home.
Walking on Water
I often search for Bible verses about what I am experiencing in my life. Today I read about wind in the Bible. As I read through Bible verses about winds and storm, I was drawn to the story of Jesus walking on the water.
Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”
And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” Matthew 14:22-36 ESV
Although we read about Jesus walking on water in several gospels, it is only in Matthew that we see Peter. He challenges Jesus: “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” (Mt. 4:28) Jesus tells him to come. Peter gets out of the boat and actually walks on water with Jesus.
But then he sees the wind. It makes him afraid, and in his fear, he begins to sink. Jesus saves him, of course.
When the Winds Rise Up
I’ve been thinking about how marriage sometimes looks. When life is calm, it isn’t too hard to trust in Jesus. Faith is easy.
During the joyful and easy times in our marriage, it’s been easy to go to church, participate in service and nurturing, talk about our faith, and actually feel the faith. When life was easier, it was pretty simple to spend time with our Christian friends. When things were good in our marriage, I enjoyed spending time with other couples in Christian fellowship. It was easy to feel good about our marriage.
When the winds rise up against us, our reaction might be to feel afraid and even to begin to sink.
All marriages face times when the winds of life rise up against us. Serious illness, relationships challenges, serious illness, infertility, struggles with children, infidelity, financial challenges, divisiveness in family and friends, and even public tragedies can batter against our marriage.
When we face the winds, our concerns and questions can present themselves: Am I enough for him? Is he enough for me? What if we can’t pull ourselves out of this? What if this changes us and drives us further apart? Is our marriage going to make it?
The wind makes us afraid, and we begin to sink.
Oh, we of little faith . . .
Keeping Our Eyes on Jesus
No matter the winds and storms, we have Jesus. As long as we keep our eyes on Him and not on the winds that have risen up, our marriages don’t need to sink. We can stay above the stormy waters. We will still be in the storm, but with Jesus, we need not fear. Jesus will keep us from sinking, the winds will die down, and we will be able to see that is was Jesus all along who carried us through.
Big Guy and I have faced some difficult seasons as well. We’ve been blown a considerable distance from stable ground. Some of what we’ve experienced would be enough to drive some couples apart. In such times, living out our faith hasn’t been quite as easy. During the most difficult years of our marriage, I was so angry at God that I could barely bring myself to walk into church. I was too afraid of what life would bring to go open myself to God’s touch.
With every struggle, every gust of wind, every long-blowing storm, Jesus has always been there for Big Guy and me—bringing us through the storm until we are back on stable ground.
If you are facing a strong wind that is blowing against your marriage, be of great faith. Take heart. Do not be afraid. Jesus is right there with you.
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