Written by: Nancy Bresette
If you are a betting person there is a safe bet that is a guaranteed winner. Everyone encounters storms in life. We never know when they will come, or how severe they will be, but we have all encountered events or circumstances that challenged and tested us. And each storm we endure better equips us for the next storm that comes, for with the grace of God, we learn perseverance and endurance when tested.
God Is Present
We also gain the confidence that we are not alone. God has been with us before and He will be with us again when the need arises, for He is present with us every single day of our lives.
There is a French saying that pretty much sums it up: “To suffer passes. To have suffered never passes.” Regardless the cause or the intensity of a storm, having come through to a safe harbor we are changed and often in ways we would never have expected.
In his book, Your Father Loves You, James Packer writes: “The reason why Scripture spends so much of its time reiterating that God is a strong rock, a firm defense, a sure refuge and help for the weak, is that we are weak, both mentally and morally, and dare not trust ourselves to find or follow the right road.”
That does not stop us from taking the wrong path or rejecting the advice of others when we are unsure of where to go on our own. God wants us to know He cares for us. He has demonstrated that care in a way that cannot be denied – Jesus’ death on the cross for our salvation.
We are assured continually that God cares for all His creation from the lilies of the field to the sparrows in the market and that we are more precious to Him than any of those. We can trust this truth for He has created us in His image.
Jesus Calmed The Sea
Do you remember when Jesus calmed the sea? You can find it in Mark 4:35-41. Jesus, tired from the day and seeking respite from the crowd, suggested He and the disciples cross to the other side of the sea which they proceeded to do.
The disciples were not unfamiliar with the storms on the Sea of Galilee; some of them were fishermen who made their living fishing its waters, so it is likely they had endured such storms before, and yet something was different this time as Jesus was fast asleep in the boat.
His disciples had stood by as He has drove out evil spirits, healed lepers and made a paralytic walk again. How could He now be sleeping when the ones, who have responded to His call to follow Him, are in peril? They jarred Him awake demanding to know if it mattered to Him that they were drowning. So, He got up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Quiet down!” And the wind fell, and there was a great calm!
He then asked them, “Why were you so fearful? Don’t you even yet have confidence in Me?” And we are told they were filled with awe and said to each other, “Who is this man, that even the winds and seas obey Him?
It is obvious that Jesus cared very much about their fears, for His first act was to calm the storm. It was only after the wind had died down and the sea had stilled that He asked why they were afraid and why they did not yet feel confident in following Him.
Jesus Is Lord
The disciples ultimately thank God for His unfailing love and wonderful deeds for mankind but first must come for them, as it must for each one of us, the moment of personal awareness that Jesus is Lord, and He has the power and authority to bring order out of chaos.
It is our answer to the question posed in verse 41, that helps us answer all our questions about what to believe. Our answer to: “Who is this that even the wind and the waves obey Him?” marks that first moment of awareness that Jesus truly has the power to command nature and bring order out of chaos. It is then that we begin to gain a glimpse of the magnitude of the sacrifice He was willing to make on our behalf. To choose to become a suffering servant, so that our sins can be forgiven, cannot help but fill us with an awe that is overwhelming.
Who is this Jesus, the One who can bring calm into the storms of life, is a question that requires an answer from each one of us who would follow Him, for it is a highly personal relationship. In Him, we are called to willingly bear one another’s burdens.