Psalm 107:23-32 Some of you set sail in big ships;
you put to sea to do business in faraway ports.
Out at sea you saw God in action,
saw his breathtaking ways with the ocean:
With a word he called up the wind—
an ocean storm, towering waves!
You shot high in the sky, then the bottom dropped out;
your hearts were stuck in your throats.
You were spun like a top, you reeled like a drunk,
you didn't know which end was up.
Then you called out to God in your desperate condition;
he got you out in the nick of time.
He quieted the wind down to a whisper,
put a muzzle on all the big waves.
And you were so glad when the storm died down,
and he led you safely back to harbor.
So thank God for his marvelous love,
for his miracle mercy to the children he loves.
Lift high your praises when the people assemble,
shout Hallelujah when the elders meet!
I was reading through the Psalms the other day and this passage stood out to me... I have read it many times before, but for some reason, it has be echoing in my heart for the last three days since I read it. When I read the first verse of this section, "...to do business...", I thought, "that's me." I mean, I make plans to do business, and set goals, prepare, and then set out "to sea". My guess is that most of us do this is some fashion. Whether it is making plans to buy something (like a large building and 100 acres) or to sell something, (another building) or to effect something in our lives.. to achieve something... to gain something... We all do these things. I am not saying that is bad - don't get me wrong. We need to set goals, make plans, and move forward. If we don't, I think they call that a "couch potato". That's certainly not good.
So, are we all in agreement? We all make plans - good, bad, indifferent - we "set out to sea." And then... God!
All kinds of crazy happens. Storms, waves, rain, ad nauseam (literally).
So, what do we do? In this text, the "sailors" cried out to God. And God met them, and saved them. What kind of sailor are you? I imagine it could go another direction, and have experienced this on more than one occassion - the "sailors" (us) complain about the situation, moan and regret how their plans have gone awry. They can cast judgment and blame on others. They can even complain directly to God, because He did not bless their plans. "Woe is me... Why God, why me?" Yeah... I've heard it before. Truth be told, I might have been one of these forelorn sailors a time or two. What about you?
The sailors in this text realized something either sooner or later, but ultimately, they cried out to God. They realized their position as "passengers" on a boat that they really had no control over. Rudderless in a storm, they needed something.. some ONE more powerful. The Surrendered Sails caught no wind as they bowed low in submission. The only strong act of men was to cry out to a Holy, Powerful God, and ask for salvation. In that act, they gave up all sense of control, real or imagined. And God answered. "In the nick of time" God quieted the wind, muzzled the waves, and led the crying ones back to safe harbor. And they responded in praise.
The last few verses of this text show clearly that these "planners" saw the great mercies of God, and were grateful. Their plans were changed, the outcome was not what they planned, and they may have even lost their cargo (their down payment on the above referenced property?) and yet they had a new perspective... that God saved them, and they were overjoyed by His goodness and love.
It is amazing what a little storm can do to our perspective. I think the two paths of response are pretty universal at all crossroads foolwing a "storm". We can choose to complain, or we can acknowledge that our plans just aren't as important as our relationship with Father. If He chose a storm for us, rather than our well thought out schemes, we must have needed that storm to gain correction in our perspective. God is not fickle or wishy-washy -- He desires a deep, intimate relationship with Himself, and He is jealous when we place anything in front of Him.. especially a PLAN. We must, if we truly belong to Him, state clearly and with commitment at every crossroad, "not my will but Yours Father." That is the only realistic perspective.
All is Yours God. I am Yours. My plans are Yours God... It's all Yours.