I woke in the inky darkness to the wind’s furious whipping outside my window. The power had finally gone out after flickered warnings through the evening and the house was now eerily still compared to the howling outside. At each powerful gust, I braced for limbs that cracked and crashed to the ground outside.
I stepped around my kids scattered on mattresses around the living room. How could they sleep so peacefully through this storm? It had been like a holiday for them – days off school, postponed homework and a pantry of hurricane snacks.
For a week, we’d been tracking the biggest hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic. We’d waited in long lines to stock up on gasoline and water. We’d studied the projected path, prepping to stay while weighing whether to evacuate.
“O, Lord! I don’t want this storm,” I had prayed, hoping it would take a sharp turn to the east and spin off into the ocean.
Despite my prayers, the storm was now here.
Most of us would rather dodge the storms. Not just hurricanes, but the other kinds of storms life brings – financial crises, difficult diagnoses, unexpected grief.
Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” Mark 4:38
A sudden, furious squall threatened to swamp the disciples’ boat as they crossed the Sea of Galilee. While they struggled against the storm, Jesus slept in the stern. The disciples not only woke him; they accused him: “Don’t you care if we drown?”
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That’s a question we often ask in our own storms. Does Jesus care about our difficulty?
Maybe it looks like Jesus is just plain sleeping while we’re struggling with everything in us.
Maybe we think — if God loves us, He should protect us from the hard. He should make it stop or keep us from it altogether.
Jesus could have prevented that squall on the Sea of Galilee.
But He didn’t. Instead, Jesus got in the boat with the disciples.
God doesn’t always prevent storms for us, but He’s always present in the struggle with us.
Not only is God with us, but He has lessons we can only learn in a storm.
Out in that Galilean storm, the disciples called Jesus their teacher. “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
But they were about to see Jesus was so much more. He who created the wind and waves was Lord over them.
When Jesus commanded — “Quiet! Be still!” — the wind and waves immediately obeyed.
God’s presence in the storm gives us perspective we can’t see in the calm.
It’s in financial struggles that we see God as provider.
In the pain of infertility, we find God our hope.
In the suffering of chronic disease, we find God our sustainer.
And in deep grief, we see God is our comfort.
God could spare us from storms. And while at first blush that sounds like an awesome life, a boat cannot sail on endlessly calm days. Sailors know to avoid the doldrums — where they become stuck and stagnant without any way to move forward.
With the wind comes the probability of storms. But God gets in the boat with us. And if we will open our eyes and call on Him in the storm, we will see Him sovereign over it.
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