in the middle of a storm…
We are in the middle of a storm at our house, and it has been really difficult to navigate. Life feels turbulent, unsettled and out of control. I could not stop the flood of tears tonight as we processed what has happened and what the future holds.
Not my favorite.
(If you haven’t read my last post that explains the storm, click here.)
So when I read about Jesus and his disciples encountering a storm, I was intrigued because I felt like I could relate.
Here’s the story: In Matthew 8:23-27, Jesus and his disciples get in a boat to cross the lake and encounter a nasty storm. The disciples are terrified they are going to drown because the boat is taking on water and they are getting tossed by the waves. They wake up Jesus, who is sleeping, and plead with him to save them. He rebukes them with: “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then he calms the storm in an instant and they are safe. Understandably, the disciples are left in complete amazement of his power.
My initial reaction was, “I wish God would instantly calm my storm like he did for the disciples.” Because that is what my selfish flesh desires – a life free of storms. When I was younger, I thought that if God loved me, he would deliver me from the storms…I actually believed that to be true. So much so that I used to get angry if any storms came my way.
Now I know better, but I still wrestle with that errant thought. I don’t want or welcome storms. I have to fight the “why God WHY?” and “Save me now!” response every.single.time.
This storm is I’m going through is no different. It’s a constant battle in my mind to trust.
As I pondered the storm story, a few observations stood out to me that gave me great encouragement because I think that if they are true for the disciples, then they are true for me in the midst of my storm as well.
- Walking with Jesus doesn’t prevent the storms from happening. The disciples were some of the most devoted followers of Jesus and they all faced persecution and trials while doing ministry on earth. I can’t expect a life free of storms either. Matthew 5:10-11 says: “God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers.” John 16:33 agrees: “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
- Jesus was with them in the storm. The disciples were never alone. Jesus was there and available when they needed him the most. He never left them nor did he forsake them. The same is true for me and my storms: I am never alone. Isaiah 41:10 comforts us: “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. Matthew 28:20 promises: “And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
- Fear in the storm shows a lack of faith. The first thing Jesus said when they woke him up was “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” God wants us to have complete trust and confidence that he is Lord over the storm. Therefore, if I have fear about my circumstances, it shows that I don’t trust that God is in control. Matthew 6:28-30 explains: “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully are they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?” Peter’s fear in Matthew 14:31 prompts Jesus to say: “You have so little faith, why do you doubt me?”’
- God wants us to trust in the middle of the storm. The disciples lost sight of who Jesus was and all that he was capable of and became terrified. Jesus trusted God completely and literally slept during the storm. Jesus’ response to their fear shows me that I must trust God to accomplish his purpose in the midst of the storm, not just beg him to take it away. Psalm 56:3-4 leads us: “But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you. I praise God for what he has promised. I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? What can mere mortals do to me?” Psalm 33:4-5 reiterates: “For the Word of the Lord holds true, and we can trust everything he does. He loves whatever is just and good; the unfailing love of the Lord fills the earth.”
- God is sovereign over the storm. The wind and waves obey him. All of creation obeys him. He alone has the power to calm any storm at any time and I can trust him fully because he is sovereign over everything. He is God over my storm, and when he says the word, it will cease. Psalm 33:11 proclaims: “But the Lord’s plan stands firm forever; his intentions can never be shaken.” Psalm 8:3-4 explains: “When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers- the moon and the stars you set in place- what are mere mortals that you should think about them? Human beings that you should care for them?”
- God is awesome. The disciples were in awe of the power he demonstrated in their storm. There is absolutely no one like him. He is worthy of all of the glory, all of the honor and all of the praise. I too, shall stand in amazement of his workmanship. Psalm 146:6 praises him: “Your awe-inspiring deeds will be on every tongue; I will proclaim your greatness. Everyone will share the story of your wonderful goodness; they will sing with joy about your righteousness.” Psalm 96:8-10 rejoices: “Give to the Lord the glory he deserves! Bring your offering and come into his courts. Worship the Lord in all his holy splendor. Let all the earth tremble before him. Tell all the nations, ‘The Lord reigns! The world stands firm and cannot be shaken.’”
I believe these 6 things to be true, and I will continue to claim them in the middle of this storm. God is good and he is faithful. He is with me and he will sustain me. This storm will be used for his glory! Whether or not this storm is calmed, I will trust in God.
Friend, if you are in the middle of a storm, be encouraged. Claim these truths and trust that the God of the universe has you securely in his grip. Hold tightly to him as everything swirls around you. No matter the storm, he is Lord over it and he loves you. He will not fail you.
Please also know this: I would love to get on my knees for you. The faith journey is often hard and it’s better together. Send me a message or comment below and I will get on my knees for you. Blessings!
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