The Storm

We had a nice big fire this evening courtesy of Big Fire Billigan. Following our delicious dinner we crawled into our tents with nighttime closing in on us. Before sleeping, I read the following section of Matthew 8

23 As he got into the boat, his disciples followed him.
24 And a great storm developed on the sea so that the waves began to swamp the boat. But he was asleep.
25 So they came and woke him up saying, “Lord, save us! We are about to die!”
26 But he said to them, “Why are you cowardly, you people of little faith?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it was dead calm.
27 And the men were amazed and said, “What sort of person is this? Even the winds and the sea obey him!”

Time: 0130
Weather: Catastrophic

I was awakened when one of my tent stakes came loose and the side of my tent fell over on top of me. I managed to get the tent stabilized real quick and spent the next several minutes holding my tent poles up while the storm raged outside. Finally, the rain slowed down and I went outside and stamped all my stakes further into the soft ground. However, at this point my confidence was shaken. I no longer had faith in the structure around me.

The storm continued and I prayed then before going back and re-reading that same passage multiple times. I tried rebuking the wind. I was disappointed when this didn't work. Then I was upset at myself for clearly not having much faith. Then I set out to prove that I did have enough faith and prayed even more. It still didn't work. I lay there fighting with my beliefs and my convictions and I remembered something that had happened to me when I was far, far younger.

My mother was taking me and my brother into town and it was quite a long walk since the bus didn't seem to be coming that day. A sudden storm swept in and we quickly huddled under the edge of a nearby roof to escape the unexpected rain. Mom had told us boys about the power of prayer and so the two of us decided we would pray the storm away for our mom since this was an "important" trip to obtain groceries for the coming weeks. My memory is hazy on the details (I was probably 6 or 7 years old at the time) but I remember the two of us praying really, really hard that the rain would stop. It did. Immediately. I remember looking up and the dark clouds were already rolling away into a suddenly blue sky.

Did I have more faith at that young age than I do now? Aren't we supposed to grow in faith?

As I write this, I lay in my tent and the gentle breeze and sprinkling rain make me want to go back to sleep. My tent is secure but more importantly my faith is increased. Not because I got what I wanted but because I had to write this to find out that I knew all along what faith was. Faith is trusting the Creator of the universe just like how I trust my tent to stay up while I sleep and faith is getting up in the middle of the night to push my tent stakes of faith deeper into the ground by reading scripture, praying, and by writing a story about faith.

Blessings to you from the God who creates wind and rain and who stills them so an anxious hiker can get some sleep. Good night.

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