“And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke Him and said to Him, ‘Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?’ And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Hush, be still.’ And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. And He said to them, ‘Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?’”-Mark 4:37-40
I want to take a moment to share with you a story I once heard through The Creative Way by Ted Dekker.
“There once was a young woman who was traveling through a deep, dark jungle, when a large tiger attacked her. She escapes its deadly claws and runs for her life, the tiger in pursuit. Just when she thinks she is about to lose the beast, she suddenly finds herself at the edge of a small canyon. Seeing nowhere else to go, she jumps and catches a dangling branch below the cliff. As she hangs on for dear life, she looks up and finds the tiger gazing down at her, growling with hunger. She turns away and looks down to find another tiger staring up at her with hungry eyes. The sound of nibbling draws the woman’s attention and she glances up to see two mice, one black and one white, eating away at the vine she is hanging on. Overwhelmed by her surroundings, she closes her eyes and takes a deep breath. When she opens her eyes, she sees in front of her a strawberry. She grabs it, takes a bite, and finds it good.”
When I first heard this story, it took me a few seconds to wrap my head around the ending. “What does it mean?” I asked myself. Here is how Dekker explains it.
The tiger above symbolizes the future. The one below represents the past. And the two mice? Night and Day. Time.
What about the strawberry?
My friends, the strawberry represents the beauty that can be found in the here and now. It is the peace that Paul speaks of in Philippians 4:6-7,
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
For three years, I have struggled with my Heavenly Father over my future direction. I was angry with Him for allowing APS to enter my world because I felt the control had been ripped from me. I watched as my plans for the future were crushed as I plunged into the sea of despair. It wasn’t until recently that I caught a glimpse of true peace, realizing that I was never the one in control.
The beauty of it is to be able to go through the crashing waves and roaring wind like our Lord Jesus Christ, simply at peace, knowing that our Father, the Creator of time and space, is in control of the storms we are facing. He will never give us something He cannot handle, but will allow us to be put to the test to ensure our faith in Him is sincere.
When the storms come, look for the strawberries around you and enjoy our Father’s wonderful creation. Don’t be anxious for the future, nor worry about the past. Your Heavenly Father has taken care of it. Enjoy the beauty of today.