Life is filled with storms – some that blow in and blow out, without leaving a trace, some that are fairly harmless, but seem to have no end, and some that knock us off our feet and level everything in their path. Whatever the length or intensity may be, storms will come in all shape and sizes and, for the follow of Christ, they are always a test of our faith.
After two weeks of feeling swept up in a full blown tornado, this morning I came across the passage of Jesus calming the storm in Matthew 8:23-27, which is the same passage that led to me write my first blog several years ago (Faith Through the Storm), and what eventually led to the writing of Hope When It Hurts. It struck me once again as I reflected on the fact that Christ calls us to follow him, knowing the storms that lay ahead, and knowing the fear and pain they will evoke – yet he still calls us to follow him in faith. There have been many storms that have not only knocked us off our feet, but have felt like God is asleep, silent to our sufferings. And yet, as we traverse across the “lake of life”, he has reminded us often that he is always with us in the boat and he promises to carry us to the other side. In the midst of the storms that arise, we are increasingly faced with the choice of who and what we are going to trust. Sometimes, he doesn’t calm the storm when we desperately want him to. In fact, in our experience, he often allows it to intensify. But he’s still there, fully aware and in control, even when he appears to be silent.
However, what struck me the most was his question to the disciples in verse 26: “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Obviously he knew why they were afraid. They had legitimate reasons to be afraid, just as we do in our own current storms. Their lives were threatened, the lives of their fellow disciples were threatened, and they had no guarantee that they would make it through the storm alive. So the question wasn’t so much, “Why are you afraid of this storm,” but “Why are you afraid when you have me in the boat with you, the One who rules over the wind and the waves?” Though the storm threatened their physical lives, they were safe in the presence of Christ.
The same is true for us. So as we look at the storm in front of us, feeling tossed, windburned, and weary, we need to take our eyes off of the raging waves and fix them on the One who is with us in the boat. He may seem eerily quiet, but he is not absent, and although he may not be commanding the storm to be calm just yet, he is commanding his will to be done in us instead. So as the fear begins to seep in, let’s fight back with the truth that the One who rules over the storms will also carry us through them. The power of the storm around us is not greater than the power of the Spirit within us. And the bigger the storm, the more his power and glory will be magnified through it.
Until we reach other other side,