Revisiting an old favorite today as I consider the storms that rage around my family and friends. How about you? Are you stranded on stormy seas this morning or standing on solid ground? No matter where you find yourself, rest assured that our God of grace and goodness goes with you through it all.
One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and set out. As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm.
Luke 8:22-24 – NIV
My grandfather loved a good storm. As the clouds rolled in, you could find him on the front porch, watching the storm. He was fascinated by the lightning as it blazed across the nighttime sky. He never seemed to fear the violence of the storm. It was as if he was awed by the majestic mystery of the storm’s fury.
I don’t know about you, but I am not so enamored with storms. Perhaps it is one thing to view them from the safety of a protected shelter. It’s quite another thing to be out in the elements, adrift on a stormy sea, the safety of the harbor vanishing in the swirling mist.
The disciples understood that paralyzing fear. They knew that panic as they watched the waves crash over the bow, the wind lashing against the hull, the boat shaking and straining under the onslaught. They stared in horror as the storm raged against them, knowing there was nothing they could do to stop the oncoming destruction.
Have you ever felt like you were caught up in a storm? Have you ever felt like everything is going wrong, all at once. Your well ordered life is in shambles. Heartache has been visited upon your house. Trouble has not only knocked at your door, it has barged in and taken over your life.
You feel powerless. You are caught up in circumstances beyond your control. You are panicked. You have no idea where to turn. You feel hopeless, because you can’t see your way out of this present storm.
Yes, the disciples were in a life-threatening storm, but the disciples were not alone in that boat. Jesus was there with them, resting peacefully despite the raging storm all around them. Jesus slept. Yes, He slept, apparently unconcerned by the raging onslaught engulfing them. I wonder. Was that because Jesus knew the storm was coming? Was it because He knew this would be an opportunity to teach His followers about trust?
The disciples rushed to Him, panicked, trembling with terror. “Lord, save us!” They cried out and He immediately awoke and took action. They asked and He responded. With but a word of rebuke, He silenced the storm. Then, He looked at his frightened friends and asked them, “Where is your faith?”
Jesus knew He had dominion over the storm. He knew that no circumstance, no trouble, no peril could defy His authority. He was in control, even when the disciples had lost all hope of survival. Perhaps Jesus allowed the storm to rage on so that He could prove to His disciples that nothing is beyond His control.
Was Jesus waiting for the disciples to ask for his help? Was He waiting for them to believe He could save them? Perhaps He was waiting for them to let go of their self-sufficiency and seek His face, cry out His name, fall on their knees in repentance.
Maybe Jesus wanted his disciples to find their faith by living through that storm. Maybe Jesus used that storm to teach His followers to trust Him, no matter what comes.
Trust, it’s a hard concept, isn’t it? We speak so easily of faith and trust when the sun is shining, when our lives are full of harmony and light. Yet, when the thunder roars and the lightning strikes, it is challenging to take hold and trust.
Perhaps Jesus is using the storms of our lives to teach us to trust without wavering, to banish our fear and our doubts and rest in Him. Perhaps Jesus wants us to watch Him rebuke the storm and claim victory over the peril that seeks to drown us.
For surely, Jesus is still in the boat with you and me. He has promised to never leave us nor forsake us. Jesus goes with us through whatever trials we face in this life. Like the disciples, may we stand in awe and amazement as we watch Him work on our behalf. May we bow down and worship our faithful God who can calm our storms and land us safely on His peaceful shore.
“Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples. In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.”
Luke 8:25 – NIV
O Lord Jesus, help us in our storms. Go with us. Hold our hands. For the water is deep and the waves crash over us. Save us, Lord. Rebuke the wind and the waves and place us, once more, on solid ground. For You are our Lord and Savior and we place our trust in You.