During a trip to the store, I noticed displays of red, white, and blue. For many American families, Independence Day is the highlight of their summers. During the day, there’s barbecue, playing in the pool, and fun in the sun. In the evening, everyone can sit on the grass and relax, while enjoying an amazing fireworks display. But for our family, 4th of July celebrations end right before sunset. Since he was 2 years old, our son, Gabriel, has been extremely afraid of fireworks. I thought he would eventually outgrow it, but he is just as scared today as when he was a toddler burying his face in my lap to drown out the boom. It’s the same with thunderstorms; he gets notably anxious. But I understand … I’m a little scaredy cat too when it comes to thunder and lightning. And, I can certainly understand the disciples’ fear when they found themselves in the middle of a great tempest at sea. The Lord had an important lesson for them to learn during this storm, and it is the same lesson He is teaching me today.
For Jesus and His disciples, it was the end of a day full of ministry. But though they were leaving the noise of the multitude, they were about to enter into the turbulence of a windstorm, probably the strongest one they have ever been in. In fact, this gale of wind was so strong that the waves were breaking over their boat and filling it up. When they set out to sea, I doubt they were expecting this. Even for me, I often don’t expect the storms that come into my life. When the trials come, I feel as the disciples did: tossed around, huge waves of despair looming over and waiting to overwhelm me, sinking deeper into the pit, and feeling like I can no longer bear it. And there is one other thing that the disciples felt that I also sometimes feel: forgotten. The disciples were in the middle of a fierce storm, and The Lord of the storms was with them … yet, they felt He has forgotten them and did not care. “But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, ‘Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?'” (Mark 4:38). I’ve had similar thoughts. All lies, but in my finite understanding, I have been tempted to try to find a reason, outside the truth of Scripture, why God hasn’t rescued me yet.
The disciples made an incorrect judgment, wrongly concluding that because He was asleep, He must not care about them. But, consider this: Jesus was sleeping in the midst of a tornado! Could you sleep through something like that? Jesus did. He was at peace in the midst of a storm. Don’t I long for that? I desire the peace that surpasses all comprehension in the middle of the most difficult trials of my life. So, instead of looking about in a state of panic or hurling accusations at God, I must take my cue from my Master. If He is at peace, then I must be at peace. If He is the One who has complete and sovereign control over everything, then I must rest in Him.
Jesus rebuked the wind and sea, but He also rebuked the disciples for having little faith. When I face an insurmountable obstacle, I, too, am prone to exercise little faith. On many occasions, I have had to confess my unbelief to the Lord. I realized that in my desire for a certain trial to end, I’ve lost sight of the fact that Jesus is and has always been right there with me.
Whatever you’re going through, Jesus is more than able to calm the turbulence and remove it from your life completely. But, there is another promise you can cling to. Whether He grants you still waters or allows you to remain in the tribulation, He will always be with you.
Jesus, lover of my soul,
Let me flee unto Your side,
While the waters o’er me roll,
While the tempest still is high.
Hide me, O my Savior, hide,
Till the storm of life be past;
Safe into the harbor guide,
O receive my soul at last.
(Written By: Trudy Poirier/Charles Wesley)
(Photo credit1: bayasaa)
(Photo credit2: Boegh)