Friday, March 2, 2012

Walking through the waves

When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped. - Matthew 14:32 (NLT)
Last week I suggested for you to come along with me on a 40-day challenge—to read the four Gospels throughout Lent and keep a SOAP journal.
This week I thought I’d share with you what I wrote in my SOAP journal.
But first, a recap to remind you what a SOAP journal is: a notebook in which you record your reactions to Scripture you read, following the SOAP format:


(For a brief explanation of SOAP, re-read last week’s blog.)
Last week I wrote in my SOAP journal five times. Here’s Tuesday’s entry:
S—Matthew 14:24-25, 32 (NLT): “Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. About three o’clock in the morning, Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. . . .When they (Jesus and Peter) climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped.”
O—Jesus had the power to calm the raging seas, but He didn’t until He and Peter were in the boat. Why? Because sometimes Jesus doesn’t calm the storm but walks through the storm with us as we learn to focus on Him, not the waves, and trust Him to see us to the boat.
A—Trust Jesus in the storm.
P—Remind me, Lord, some storms are sent to strengthen my faith and grow my trust in You. Help me to keep my eyes on You. Amen.

Sometimes, instead of insight, I have questions. I write those in my journal, too. Friday, after reading Matthew 17:20-21, I wrote:

“Faith as small as a mustard seed is big—powerful—enough to move mountains, do the impossible. Yet when our prayers for the impossible are not answered (with a “yes”), does that mean we have no faith?”

I remembered my friends Patsy, Denise, and Edrubelle, all women of strong faith who prayed for healing from breast cancer. All died from it. I still remember Patsy picking up her Bible and saying, “If I’m to believe this Book, then I’m to believe all of it, not just the parts I want to believe or the parts I understand.” I remember Mel, a man with a vibrant faith who also died from cancer, saying, “The Bible says it. I believe it. That settles it.”

In my journal, I wrote, “I don’t understand, Lord. Help me to understand.”
I’ll pull my Bible commentaries from the bookshelf and research those verses I don’t understand. Sometimes I’ll gain the insight I’m seeking. Sometimes I won’t. But I’ve learned it’s OK to question because it means I’m thinking, searching.
And although I may not find all the answers I’m looking for, I do know one thing I will find: God. For He has promised “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13 NKJV).
The Bible says it. I believe it. That settles it.
May Your Word, O Lord, be a lamp to my feet and a light to my path (Psalm 119:105). Amen. 
NOTE: If you’re doing the 40-day challenge, reading the Bible and keeping a SOAP journal, I’d love to hear from you—how God is working in your life through Scripture. Email me at

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