Leaving the crowd behind, they took him in the boat just as he was. There were also other boats with them. A very strong wind came up on the lake. The waves came over the sides and into the boat so that it was already full of water. Jesus was at the back of the boat, sleeping with his head on a cushion. His followers woke him and said, “Teacher, don’t you care that we are drowning!”
Jesus stood up and commanded the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind stopped, and it became completely calm. Mark 4:36-39
God cares about our responses even when he knows they’re unwarranted. We can be frightened when there is no reason to be frightened, and God can calm us. We can be angry when there is no reason to be angry, and God can give us peace. We can be frustrated, anxious, or sad, and God can either reveal the truth of a situation to us or reveal himself to us by changing the situation. He does both.
Jesus could have tried to explain to his followers why they didn’t need to be fearful. He could have said, “Have you not noticed I am not afraid? As my followers, you can follow my lead. If I am at peace, you can be at peace as well. I will not lead you astray. I will not deceive you.” Or, he could have explained why the wind and waves would not harm them. He chose neither approach. He chose to simply respond with action.
God responds in different ways in different situations. He is unchanging. He is reliable. However, he is beyond our comprehension and prediction. He will respond in a way that is consistent with his character but not always consistent with our expectations.
When have you expected God to respond in a certain way and was surprised or disappointed when he didn’t? When has God pleasantly surprised you in an unexpected response or provision?
God knows when we need to wait. He knows when we need to immediately experience him in a big way. He doesn’t make us respond in a certain way, but he helps create a situation that is best for our growth. He wants to draw us close to him, and that means knowing us well enough to provide specifically for our growth needs. He knows when to water, wait and prune. We might want things faster, slower, smaller or bigger, but he knows “just right.”
Live It. Accept a situation as “just right” today. It might not match your expectations but ask and trust God to give you his peace through it. Be sure to thank him for knowing and loving you.