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Asleep in the Boat: Day 2

Nothing is going to happen today that God and I can’t handle.                                                                             
 (Church Billboard)

This is a familiar and favorite saying on billboards, bookmarks and plaques. I understand the intent and know that it is a truth for many people’s lives. But let’s take a moment and examine this sentiment in the light of this week’s story.

“Handle” and its first cousin “cope” are well-known concepts in our culture. Put your head down, your nose to the grindstone and one foot in front of the other for as long as it takes to finish the job. Right? Employing this philosophy, the disciples would have awakened Jesus, handed him a bucket and they would have all bailed water out of the boat until the storm blew over or they reached the other shore. And it is also clear by the disciples’ response that what Jesus did do was completely surprising.

This is the point: So many people (and I can name names) are in “firm control” of their situation, even as they are going under for the third time. God is called in when things reach a crisis point, and only for a specified chore for a specified time. Sort of like a divine consultant.

Why is this? The reasons may range from ignorance of God’s power to deliver to lack of faith. But I think in all there is an underlying awareness that God does not operate according to our rules. When Jesus enters a situation, He will not settle for a consultant’s fee and a favorable recommendation. He is God and the wind and waters obey Him. He will use whatever means He chooses: other people, personal pain, unnatural circumstances or surprising solutions, so that He may be glorified.

The question is, do we want a life of coping and handling or do we want to be transformed to the image of God (Romans 12:1)? All that is required is to be willing—like the disciples—to call out to Him, get out of His way and watch Him work.

Nancy Shirah

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