[Willow Creek Association] 1998-09-02 - Storm Front

Originally Published 1996-12-04

Jonah 1:11-13 Then said they unto him, What shall we do unto thee, that the sea may be calm unto us? for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous. And he said unto them, Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you. Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring it to the land; but they could not: for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous against them.

I woke up at 6am morning with that nagging sense of being overwhelmed by stress. Stress from the demands upon my time. Stress from all the obligations and responsibilities. You know the feeling … a tight vice grip around your stomach.

I went into my study to have my quiet time with God, read some and pray. I could not do it. Not a good sign. I went into the kitchen and starring in my face is our calendar. My wife puts her things in blue, mine are in red, the kids activities are in green and all others are in black ink. The calendar looks like a Christmas Tree all lit up! I felt the pressure of the vice grip tighten more.

I then go to my computer and attempt to sign on America Online to read the morning mail. Modem not responding! Argh! Vice grip is getting tighter and tighter.

So I do the next sensible thing … go to the office. Printer is jammed with printing I started when I went home yesterday. Fax machine is screaming for more paper. Voice mail light on my phone is blinking and begging my attention. Argh … finally I think the day is just not starting out good! : )

The more I tried to do … the worse things got. Just like the men in the boat in the above verse … the more they rowed the more the storm raged. Finally I slowed down enough to hear that soft voice of the Holy Spirit say … hey David … open your Bible … spend some time with Me. Slow down my child. Be calm. Listen to me. I finally became still. And you know what happened, God drained away my stress.

Psalm 28:7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him. (KJV)

When "I" finally got out of the way. God restored me back to peace. When "I" quit rowing against the tide and listened to God, He then could overcome my stresses. When I started trusting HIM again, He helped me. What an awesome God we serve.

Dear Lord, Forgive me for trying to do it all. Forgive me for not trusting you. Forgive me rowing against your will and your desires for me. Lord help me take things one at a time and not become overwhelmed by the total picture. Father you are an Awesome God. I love you and praise you. Thank you for giving us a peace that only YOU can give. In Jesus' precious name, Amen.