But hallelujah God does not give us according to what we deserve. He understands our feelings. Here was His response to Elijah:
"Go out and stand before me on the mountain," the L ord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the L ord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the L ord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the L ord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the L ord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. -- 1Kings 19: 11-13 (NLT)
When we are at our end we can feel as if our life is being torn apart by a violent hurricane. We can look into that windstorm and wonder where God is. God is not in the wind beloved. We can experience such dramatic shifts in our lives that it can feel as if we are going through a 10.0 earthquake. We can look into the tectonic plates of our existence and wonder where God is in it. God is not in the earthquake beloved. Sometimes the pain in our life is like a raging fire that no one can control. I am sure Joseph felt that way for 12 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. I am sure Elijah felt that way here in this story. I am sure that we all have felt this way, some of us this very week as we try and dig out from the rubble our life has been left in. We look into the flames and cry out for God but God is not in the fire beloved. What is God saying to us today?
The depth of our negative feelings is directly proportional to how much we focus on the problems instead of the problem solver. Every day that Joseph spent wondering why he was in jail was another day he moved further away from God. If you look into the wind you will not see God because He is not in the wind -- He is above it! Peter learned that when he walked on water. As long as he looked to Jesus he was conquering whatever was around him. But then he took his eyes off of his problem solver:
But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. "Save me, Lord!" he shouted. -- Matthew 14: 30 (NLT)
When he saw the strong wind. If we choose to have a horizontal focus that concentrates on our problems then we too shall sink in them. Elijah was sinking in them. Joseph must have during the 12 years in prison. We all sink in our own problems from time to time. Another time the disciples were on a boat crossing a lake when a violent storm hit.
But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water. -- Mark 4: 37 (NLT)
Maybe that fierce storm has arisen in your world today. Maybe the high waves are breaking into your boat; into your life. Maybe you feel as if your life has started to take on water and it is only a matter of time before you drown in your own circumstances. The question for you is the same the disciples faced that day. Where is Jesus in your life? Where is He in your boat?
Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, "Teacher, don't you care that we're going to drown?" When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Silence! Be still!" Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. Then he asked them, "Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?" The disciples were absolutely terrified. "Who is this man?" they asked each other. "Even the wind and waves obey him!" -- Mark 4: 38-41 (NLT)