If I asked you what does the word "Journey" mean to you, you can guarantee that answers may be different, but they will also be similar.
When I think of the word "Journey", I think of the whole idea of ravelling. Having grown up in Mid Wales, we spent a lot of time in the car getting from A to B. The roads were long and windy, and we lived in the middle of nowhere so we never got anywhere very fast.
I like to view life as a journey. Sometimes, we can be stuck in one place for a long time. Sometimes, there is a long journey ahead to get to the place we want to be. Sometimes, the journey will be easy and sometimes, the journey will be long and windy.
I've been thinking of the journey Mary and Joseph had to take back to Jerusalem in Luke 2 to find 12-year-old Jesus. They had been at the Passover Feast and on their way home, they didn't realise that Jesus was not with them.
After the celebrations was over, they started home to Nazareth, but Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents didn't miss him at first, because they assumed he was among the other travellers. But when he didn't show that evening, they started looking for him among relatives and friends. When they couldn't find him, they went back to Jerusalem to search for him there. Three days later they discovered him in the Temple, sitting among the religious teachers, listening to them and answering questions, (Luke 2:43 - 46)
Joseph and Mary reacted in a worldly way. We can imagine all the thoughts and emotions which were going through their minds when they found out Jesus was missing. I'm sure they were asking these questions in their mind: What's happened to Jesus? Where could he be? In the same way, we react with worry and panic when something goes wrong.
A few months ago, I moved to Yorkshire from Mid Wales. A few weeks after I moved I decided to meet my friend in the nearby town. I walked there as it is an easy route on foot. On the way back, it was getting dark and I took a wrong turning. There were no road signs telling me which way to turn, and I couldn't see any people around to ask them for help. All of a sudden, worry and panic set in my mind because I thought of all the things that could happen to me. I felt scared and alone, even with my Mum on the end of the phone trying to help me find my way home.
Going back to the question Jesus asked "Didn't you know that I must be in my Father's house?", it reminds us of the longing Jesus had to be close to His Father in Heaven. When things go wrong, do we turn to Jesus for the answers? Or do we panic and allow the worldly influences take hold of us in a storm?!
What does it look like journey with Christ through a storm?
Are you tired? Worn out? Burnt out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take real rest. Walk with me and work with me - watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly. (Matthew 11:28 - 30)
The questions we need to be asking ourselves are: do we walk with God? Or do walk away from Him? We do not need to take on more than we can carry because God is bigger than our problems. Anything too big for us is not too big for God. Walking with God in a storm means allowing Him to take hold of our load. As we read in the verses above, we can confirm that God gives us permission to do this, and so choosing to journey with God is a much better option for us than journeying alone.
The second thing we need to ask ourselves is: Do we work with God? Or do you work against God?
Working with God is not always easy when are living in this messed up world. We are surrounded by many people with many different opinions, and often their advice is not always godly. But how do you work with God rather than against Him?
The first thing is walking with God, but then the second thing is letting Him take control of every area of our lives. Letting God take control means allowing Him to take the reins. When we are in the middle of a storm, we need to turn our eyes to God and listen to His advice. This can be easier said than done.
As humans, we like to take control of situations. We are too proud to admit when we are in the wrong. Therefore, rather than working with God, we work against Him because we know we need God in our lives, but we don't want to admit it.
We won't always get it right, but when we work with God, we receive great blessings. The storm we are able to overcome with the power of God inside of us often turns into a beautiful rainbow (the promise that God would never leave us or flood the Earth again).
By Lizzy Price