In The Storm with Jesus

As many of you know, a few nights ago, Delaware and New Jersey were hit with a storm that knocked out power in a few areas, as well as bringing down trees and branches causing property damage to be done. I had the “pleasure” of being out in that storm as I finished my run in Riverview Park. This was an interesting experience with the lightning all around me, some bolts striking approximately a half a mile from me. While I loved the sight and sound of the lighting bolts around me, it was also scary, because I was surrounded by trees and water and I expected that at any minute I would be struck by lightning. I’ve listened to storms before and I have had them take place around me before, but I have never experienced anything like that.

I share this with you because we are always surrounded by storms. Sometimes the storms are obvious in our lives and sometimes they pass us by without any evidence. At other times, the storms are just on the horizon, waiting to break. This was my life a few months ago. I was living my life with an invisible storm surrounding me, warning me of a bigger storm coming my way. I did not heed this warning, and the actions of my life caused the approaching storm to build bigger and bigger, brining more consequences if I did not do something about my life. But I didn’t even know about the storm that was already surrounding me and the bigger storm, the deadly one, caught me by surprise.

Now, I walk in a storm, sometimes alone, sometimes with other people, but no matter who is with me, that storm is there. I walk through it every day, looking for a break in the clouds, waiting for a relief from the gales as this little boat I am in gets swamped in water, threatening to drown me. I fear for my life, and even more so do I fear for my immortal soul. But I do know that Jesus is with me in the storm.

In the New Testament, two accounts of Jesus and storms are recorded. The first is found in Mark 4:35-41. In this story, Jesus and His disciples are crossing a body of water, possibly the sea of Galilee. As they crossed the sea, a great storm rose up and started tossing their little boat. Waves crashed into the boat, making it heavier. I’m sure the disciples tried to bail the water out to keep themselves from going under, but the storm was so strong that they couldn’t keep up. Jesus, meanwhile, was asleep in the stern, the back of the boat. The disciples rushed to Him and woke Him, exclaiming, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” (v. 38) . Jesus awoke and rebuked the storm, commanding it to be still, and it did. Pay attention to this detail: Jesus commanded the storm to stop raging…and it stopped. Everything was perfectly calm. Jesus them turned to rebuke His disciples, stating that they needed to have more faith. The disciples had never seen anything like this and they were amazed that Jesus could do such a thing, for they were unaware of who Jesus really is. Similar accounts of this story can be found in Matthew 8:23-27 and Luke 8:22-25.

The second account is found in Matthew 14:22-33. The disciples had left Jesus behind in an area around Nazareth after the feeding of the 5,000 and they were headed to Bethsaida on the other side of the sea. During the evening, the disciples’ boat was out in the middle of the sea and a storm suddenly arose and caused them to struggle against the wind to get the boat further across the lake. Jesus saw them struggling and he began to walk on the water toward them. Jesus had every intention of walking beyond them to meet them on the other side, but He was stopped when they spotted Him and beloved Him to be a ghost. Jesus shouted to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” (v. 27). Peter, being the bold man that he was (and thick-headed according to Luke {see Luke 9:28-36}) told Jesus, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water” (v. 28). Jesus agreed and commanded Peter to go to Him and Peter climbed out of the boat and began to walk on water toward Jesus. He became afraid, however, and he began to sink. He cried out for Jesus, who grabbed his hand and pulled Peter to safety, while rebuking Peter for doubting and having no faith. Upon returning to the boat, the winds suddenly became calm and they worked the boat to the other side of the sea. Similar accounts can be found in Mark 6:47-52 and John 6:16-21.

Both of these accounts show that Jesus is the Lord over nature and that He can calm the storms in the world. I also believe that Jesus can calm the storms in the lives of those who follow Him and trust in Him. If we but have faith in Jesus during the storms of our lives then one of two things is bound to happen:

1. Jesus will command the storm to be gone from your life and all will be calm.

2. Jesus will give you the strength to walk on top of the waves and come to Him.

However, you must have faith. Even the smallest amount of faith can bring about great changes in your life and in the lives of those around you.

So, have faith.

I want to leave you with the video by one of my favorite Christian artists, Casting Crowns. The video is for the song “Praise You in this Storm”. Just click the link: Praise You in this Storm (Source: YouTube)

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