2 Corinthians 12: 7b-10
I heard a wise saying recently: "Sometimes the Lord calms the child, not the storm."
We would like to think that God calms the storms of life, as Jesus calmed storms on the Sea of Galilee in the Gospels and as pictured on this post. We want God to take away the pain or uncertainty or tragedy or illness or dispute or whatever it is that is troubling us. We know God has the power to perform miracles, and we would like to experience one for ourselves.
Often God does calm the storm. But just as often, it seems God chooses to calm the child rather than the storm. An example is the Apostle Paul's lament about something that was troubling him, but the Lord answered in an unexpected way.
Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
This notion of being comforted and empowered in our own weakness, knowing Jesus' strength and power, reminds me of the children's song, "Jesus Loves Me." Before it became a hymn by Anna Bartlett Warner, it was a poem inside an 1860 novel, "Say and Seal," written by her sister, Susan Warner. The poem was recited to a dying child - a touching case of calming the child rather than calming the storm.
Jesus loves me—this I know,
For the Bible tells me so:
Little ones to him belong,—
They are weak, but he is strong.
Realizing that God can either calm the storm or the child gives us another avenue for prayers for peace and calm. Certainly, we continue to pray for the storm to break up, for the outcome we want. But we can add prayer that asks for peace, calm, and Jesus' strength in the midst of the storm, knowing that "Jesus loves me, this I know."
I invite your small group to try out one of my video lessons for free. It's a special one-week lesson entitled, "Live the Life that is Given," based on the story of a 13-year-old Cystic Fibrosis victim who came up with the phrase. You can find the video and a leader guide on my web site at https://ceciltaylorministries.com/resources-live-the-life-given. It's also a great way to fill in a one-week gap in your lesson plans or as a break-glass-in-case-of-emergency substitute lesson.