As I sit on the balcony this morning at the beach a storm is about to come through. The winds have picked up and waves crash down hard as if to revolt against the inevitable weather conditions.
Last week at my church we had Vacation Bible School and I got to help lead a group around to their different stations. We learned about the miracles of Jesus and right now I can’t help but think of when Jesus calmed the storm.
He and His disciples were in a boat when all of a sudden a violent squall overtook the sea. As the waters rose into the boat smacking against each wave, the disciples cried out “Lord! Save us! Don’t you care that we’re going to drown?”
Jesus answered their fear with a question about faith. He tells the terrified men that their faith is small and then proceeds to do the unthinkable- to do only what God can. The Lord controls nature by rebuking the winds and waves until all is quiet like it never happened.
The disciples were stunned with amazement at the miracle they just witnessed still not fully understanding Who it was they were following. Only after Jesus’ resurrection would the pieces of the puzzle start to make sense. Jesus was much more than the political Messiah they had hoped for; He was God in the flesh!
Why did Jesus choose to display His power this way? Right before He raised Lazarus from the dead Jesus said, “Father, I thank you that You have heard me. I knew that You always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that You sent me.” (John 11:41-42). All of Jesus’ miracles are for the Father’s glory, and for the people to see His power at work, even us thousands of years later. This is why we can still trust Him, even with the storms of our lives.
We may cry out like the disciples, “Lord, help me! Don’t you care that I’m drowning?!” And Jesus lovingly responds with the same answer. More than the surface external circumstances, the Lord points to my small faith amid big fears. He addresses the storms in my heart first exposing my lack of trust in Him.
That day in the boat with His disciples, Jesus demonstrated how to fear less and pray for faith to grow in its place. Jesus knew the storm raged in the sea, tossing the helpless men among the merciless water. But He had complete trust in His Father and therefore was at rest spiritually and even physically sleeping.
We also can rest spiritually when our trials overwhelm us. It’s part of the human existence to experience pain, disappointment, and hardship. You can’t get away from it even when we attempt to numb our feelings temporarily. The only answer is found in God. His Presence never leaves His own. We possess a spirit not of fear but of power, love and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7) because of the Holy Spirit at work in us through Jesus Christ.
And even though we know God holds the stars in the sky,
sets rainbows in the heavens,
fills the ocean with salt water and living sea creatures,
grows trees and flowers and food,
raises the sun each morning to our side of the world and lowers the moon into night,
we still respond with awe and wonder like His first disciples did after witnessing the miracle of the stormy sea.
I read this quote in my Devotional Psalter the other day, thinking it was very helpful and applicable:
“When life overwhelms us, when the bottom is falling out, this is where Scripture takes us: to God.
We do not achieve internal calm by securing external calm. We find internal calm by looking to God.”
Grace upon grace,
Go Deeper: Matthew 8:23-27; Mark 4:36-41; Luke 8:22-25