“But when the Friend comes, the Spirit of the Truth, he will take you by the hand and guide you into all the truth there is. He won’t draw attention to himself, but will make sense out of what is about to happen and, indeed, out of all that I have done and said. He will honor me; he will take from me and deliver it to you. Everything the Father has is also mine. That is why I’ve said, ‘He takes from me and delivers to you.’” – Jesus (John 16:12-15 MSG)
One of the most remarkable things about Jesus was His ability to sleep in the bottom of a boat when there was a life-threatening storm around him… Or simply pass through violent mobs when they were ready to stone Him… Or say “No” to people whose power and political influence would have required a “Yes”.
His tenacious obedience and reliance upon His Father in the midst of seemingly impossible circumstances is one of the most remarkable details of His character that the apprentice of Jesus must learn how to imitate.
I have a very dear friend whose wife in her mid fifties recently suffered a stroke. A couple of years ago this friend of mine challenged me with the principle of “storm sleeping” as He told me he desired to be “Jesus in the boat”. I saw him this past summer and was challenged by his faith, his family’s joy in the midst of suffering, and his wife’s unrelenting tenacity to recover fully from her stroke.
The faith I see being displayed in my friend and his family is nothing short of remarkable. I believe God will heal her completely. But this is not because her faith is so great as much as the fact that God’s faithfulness is greater. I don’t believe there is a formula for getting God to dish out blessings and answers to prayers as though He is some kind of cosmic vending machine. But I also don’t believe that God doesn’t listen to our prayers or that He isn’t concerned with our little requests and besetting drawbacks.
Somehow, in the Grand Design, God has made us a little lower than the angels. In so doing, He has given us the rights of sons and daughters. Because He loves us and because He desires relationship with us, He hears us and will include us in the Great Story He is telling to the world.
I won’t pretend to know things about His plans that I do not know. but I will say that no matter what happens in my friend’s life or my own life …whether good or bad, God is trustworthy, He is good, and His desires for us are for our good, not for evil.
We can lay down and rest in the bottom of the boat because whether the boat makes it through the storm or we all sink to the bottom, we get God no matter what.
We get Him.
Not more promises, not more words, but Jesus Himself.
We get to know Him and His power. His friendship. His Spirit. Him.
We get to see Him and become all we were created to be in Him.
What lies beyond this earth is not more of the same. No eye has seen, nor ear heard the things He has prepared for those of us who are in Christ. That’s something we can bank on.
We just don’t know how good we’ve got it when we’ve got Jesus.
And that’s nothing short of remarkable.