Becoming a follower of Christ can be a little like that. You jump up out of the big bad world, expecting safety and peace, only to find your life in an uproar. Your friends are standoffish and your family actually angry with you. They take your actions as a judgment against them or a sign of mental instability, or both.
Or perhaps you find yourself in a group of God’s people who are themselves in the midst of a crisis. They are not as spiritually minded as they ought to be, they fuss and fight among themselves and even bicker in the parking lot.
Or maybe the group is as faithful and mature a group as you can imagine, actively seeking the lost in the community—that’s how they found you after all. But some elements of the community are not pleased with their efforts, and so rumors are flying, perhaps labeling them scandalous and frightening names, or simply “spinning” things to sound as bad as possible.
Whichever is happening, you find yourself on a thin limb blowing about in the winds of trouble. What do you do? How do you handle the turmoil?
One day when the apostles were in a boat on the Sea of Galilee, a strong wind suddenly swirled around them. These were not inexperienced sailors. They understood when a wind was dangerous and when it wasn’t. Luke 8:23 tells us they were “in jeopardy.” The boat was filling with water. What boat? The same boat in which Jesus lay fast asleep on a pillow. Jesus may have accused them of having little faith, of not realizing yet who he truly was, so amazed were they that he could actually calm the wind, but at least they knew where to go. They knew that if anyone could do anything, it was he.
What do we do when the church finds itself in turmoil? Too many just bail out with the excuse that if this is the church, they don’t want any part of it. “Fair weather Christians” seems a good description. Yet it is only in the storms that we can show the Lord, and ourselves, we are truly his disciple. (Gen 22:12)
That cardinal knew that regardless the wind, being above the ground was safer than being on it. Do we understand that regardless the problems it may face, being part of Christ’s body is safer than being out there in the world, with the Prince of this World for company? Do we have enough faith to go to the Lord for help? Will we ever reach the point that we are no longer frightened by things that should not matter to believers, or would he say to us as well, “Why are you afraid, oh you of little faith?” Matt 8:26.
When we jump up to that spiritual Branch and find ourselves tossing in the winds of trouble, will we bail or have the faith to hang on tighter and never let go?
But you have come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable hosts of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, Heb 12:22,23.