Bonnie Gray is the soulful author of Whispers of Rest and Finding Spiritual Whitespace. An inspirational speaker and retreat leader, she has touched thousands of lives through storytelling, visual arts, nature, prayer and meditation. Bonnie’s writing is featured on Relevant Magazine, DaySpring (in)courage, and Christianity Today. She lives in California with her husband and their two sons. Visit Bonnie at www.thebonniegray.com and connect with her @thebonniegray on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
I love hiking. Even when it rains. Lightly.
It was my first visit out to Georgia, before the days of iPhones and instant weather reports.
Earlier in the morning, I watched the local news and had been warned there'd be showers on and off. I'd been out in the rain before and wasn't worried too much about it. I drove out to a state park.
But, as I parked my car, I realized I forgot my rain gear.
There I sat, trying to decide if I should chance it and go for my hike. Should I turn around and leave?
I had driven for over an hour. I decided I didn't come all this way just to turn back. I looked up at the sky. The sun was shining and it was early in the day.
I have my waterproof hiking boots on. And my baseball cap. I'll be alright.
I set out for my trek up, deep into the woods.
An hour later -- mid-point on the trail -- it started sprinkling. Then, it poured -- in sheets, coming down sideways.
I later found out the weather system up on that mountain is completely different from the one back in town.
Storm clouds moved in over the shade of the trees, darkening the sky. The winds began whirling and a clap of thunder cracked in my ears. Lightning flashed and there I stood. Cold and wet -- in the middle of a thunder storm -- on a side of a mountain I had never journeyed through.
That's how it feels to be caught between my head and my heart.
That's what happens when I'm caught in a storm and can't see when it will end. I try hard to think my way through.
But, sometimes, we just can't predict what we happen.
We may feel like our world is out of control.
The truth is we are not in control.
But, God is.
As I took a walk out by myself last week -- praying aloud about being stuck between my head and my heart -- I confided. "Jesus, I'm tired trying to figure it out. What should I do?"
Jesus brought me back to a darkened storm 2,000 years ago. He had sent the disciples ahead of him into the Sea of Galilee.
"Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side..."
seeing them straining at the oars, for the wind was against them...
He came to them, walking on the sea." Mark 6:45-48
It's hard to understand why God sends us onto a journey knowing we'd encounter a storm.
As I thought about this scene, I initially thought about how Peter walked on water. And how he sank.
Then, God brought my mind to focus in on what Jesus did after he lifted Peter out of the waves. Jesus walked Peter back into the boat.
"Then He got into the boat with them, and the wind stopped ; and they were utterly astonished..." Mark 6:51
Jesus got into the boat -- with them. In the middle of the raging storm.
The text says they were "utterly astonished". There was a part of Jesus they never experienced.
There was a part of their hearts that had never seen Jesus this way.
I'm not sure how I'll get to the other side. I don't know when.
But, I realized the only way I'll get there is this: Jesus will get me there. Jesus will get me back in the boat somehow.
And I will experience Jesus in a way that I never have before. It won't come from my understanding of the Scriptures or even from my willingness to follow Him.
My experience of Jesus will come through being carried back into the boat by Him.
If you find yourself like me, in the middle of a journey -- on your way to the other side -- I want you to know you're not alone. We're all in the boat together, on this journey as disciples of Jesus --
We go where He sends us;
He can see when the waters are too rough;
When we're straining at the oars;
He comes to us.
In our storm.
He'll get us back in the boat.
He will get us to the other side.
We will marvel, you and I. Astonished and full of stories to share.
How did my hike in the beautiful wet forests of Georgia end up?
It never did stop raining. Even though I waited patiently for it to do so, the water kept coming down and the trail became a running creek downhill.
The afternoon would soon turn to dusk. I decided I had to go.
With every step of mud, my boots trudged down.
I got in my car, soaked through and through.
I thanked God I didn't get struck by lightning. And started driving on the road back home.
That rainy day in Georgia.
Where are you on the journey between head and heart?
How is Jesus speaking to you?
Pull up a chair. Would love to hear your words. Click to share a comment.
By Bonnie Gray, the FaithBarista serving up shots of faith for everyday life.
Bonnie Gray is an inspiring Christian writer and blogger, offering encouragement to keep faith fresh in the daily grind. Her writing springs from the belief that the beauty of faith often takes place when life goes off script. Bonnie is the Founder of FaithBarista.com and featured writer for Hallmark subsidiary DaySpring's (in)Courage. Bonnie is currently working on her debut book, due to release in 2013 by Revell Books. Bonnie is a native Californian living in the heart of Silicon Valley with her best friend Hubby, wrangling their two heaven-sent boys on the homestead.
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Photo credit: "puddles" by bogflogger via Photobucket.