Calming Your Storms
June 16, 2012
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In the middle of the dry heat that is so typical in our valley, it is hard to imagine ourselves in a storm—one with unrelenting rain, thunderous crashes, violent wind, and no end in sight. But perhaps this scenario is all too real for you, as it may describe your current emotional, spiritual, or physical state. Financial hardships, relationship troubles, and health problems can cause rifts in our lives, if not turn them upside down altogether. Whatever your circumstance in life, Jesus has the power to calm your storms.
There is a common misconception that once you decide to become a Christian your life will be free of tribulation. However, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, Jesus repeatedly warned those who followed Him that not only would they experience troubles and suffering, they would encounter such things because they believed in and followed Him. The reality is, Christian or not, the storms of life are encountered by everyone—no exceptions, no exemptions. Furthermore, whatever storms you may be weathering, there are others who are facing the very same thing. These storms vary in size and shape, but all of them leave those who encounter them feeling a little lost.
Hope for rescue drives many to panic, pray, and/or plead. In the direst circumstances, we reach for a power outside of ourselves as we recognize our own limitations for answers or control. We witness this in our own lives when we face struggles with money or health problems that bring us to the brink of death. We have witnessed it as a community after the Northridge earthquake in 1994. We even witnessed it as a nation, when millions dropped to their knees after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
No matter how small or large the storm, Jesus has the power to calm it. How? Let’s look at an example in the Bible in which Jesus and disciples are on a small boat and are suddenly hit by a furious squall (Mark 4:35-41). In the midst of it all, Jesus was sleeping on a cushion in the stern of the boat as waves pummel the boat until it was nearly swamped. His disciples woke Him and exclaimed, “Teacher! Don’t you care if we drown?”
What a peculiar thing that Jesus was peacefully asleep in the middle of such a violent tempest. How do we find such peace in the midst of our own turmoil? Jesus fully trusted in His Father and knew that God is in control of all things. When you have lost all control, who better to trust than the One who has total control?
The next scene is pretty powerful. Awakened by His disciples’ cries, Jesus got up and said to the storm, “Quiet! Be still!” as simply as one would shoo a fly or hush a barking dog. And it became completely calm. This Jesus has so great a power that, as the men who witnessed this amazing feat marveled, “even the wind and the waves obey Him!” Jesus can conquer any storm you are going through today. He can save, redeem, deliver, guard, protect, and free you. All you have to do is call out to Him, just as the terrified disciples did on that tiny boat. If your storm is more than you can bear, turn to Jesus and He will see you through it!
What Jesus does in the final scene of this passage of Scripture is also important to note: He chastises His disciples’ fear and critiques their faith, asking, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” You see, fear chases away faith, and faith chases away fear. Too often, we lack faith. We have a difficult time believing that God can handle our children, our finances, our health, our schedules, and our other problems. Yet if we learn to entrust the cares and worries of our lives to Jesus in faith, there is no room to fear.
Jesus challenges us to recognize that God gave Him power not only over the winds and waves, but over all seemingly hopeless situations. He wants us to fully put our trust in Him. Jesus continued to astound the disciples by His power as they walked with Him further and grew in their faith. Likewise, by walking with Jesus daily, we too can experience His power in our lives to deepen our faith and calm all our storms.