“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?’ And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’ And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” Mark 4:38-39 (ESV)
On a recent trip to the coast, my family and I witnessed a massive tempest one evening. As the wind whipped my face, I watched bulbous clouds rise high into the eggplant sky. Thunder and lightning tangoed, delighting our eyes and ears. The sea churned and lashed with such ferocity that it looked like it would never return to serenity.
But the following day, we awoke to a bright calm. Peace settled over the deep blue water as it quietly lapped against the shore once again. Such a sight had seemed impossible just hours prior.
While I love thunderstorms, I’m far less fond of the metaphorical storms that roll into our lives and turn them upside down:
The wind of broken relationships that batters the heart.
The water of unmet expectations that floods the soul.
The waves of broken dreams that pummel the mind with thoughts like this will never pass.
When these storms hit, sinking seems inevitable and hope lost. I’m sure you’ve had your own share of storms in your life. Maybe you’re in one now.
As I watched the calm waters that morning, God brought to my mind a story from Mark’s Gospel when Jesus and His disciples set sail across the Sea of Galilee. A massive storm swept over them out of nowhere, leaving the disciples utterly terrified and convinced they would drown. Yet Jesus rested peacefully:
“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?’ And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’ And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm” (Mark 4:38-39).
I have echoed the disciples’ question in my most honest moments — Lord, do You not care that I’m hurting? How am I supposed to live in the middle of this chaos?
Because when the waters rise, fear easily overwhelms the soul, doesn’t it? Our human response, just like the disciples’, replaces trust in Jesus with all-out panic and doubt.
But dear one, there is a better way to wait out the storm! Unlike the disciples, we have the advantage of time and perspective. We know the end of the story. We know their sleeping Savior possessed resurrection power. Therefore, we don’t have to succumb to fear amid our storms.
Instead, we can draw hope from Scripture and anchor ourselves in three essential truths:
1. The storm is never outside God’s control. Jesus didn’t sleep because He was indifferent to the disciples’ plight. Instead, He held a calm trust that flowed from His divine dominion over creation. Indeed, He commands this power over every tempest we face. All things fall under His sovereign protection and watchful care — including your storm.
2. The storm won’t last forever. It may feel like calm will never come again. But just as physical thunderstorms surely pass, so Jesus will bring us through our storms. Jesus spoke peace over the wind and waves, bringing them to a standstill. Today, He speaks that same peace into your storm. His peace is your inheritance, even in the midst of rough waters.
3. The storm can deepen our faith. Our storms inflict pain, but they also churn up false beliefs, idols and other hindrances to our sanctification. With these obstacles removed, faith can flourish, and trust can deepen. Our eyes may see only wreckage, but God sees His tireless work of redemption on our behalf. On the Sea of Galilee, Jesus used the storm to call His disciples into a life of deeper trust. From the eye of the storm, He calls us into the same.
When we feel battered and Jesus appears silent, may we cling to these truths and allow perseverance to complete its work in us. Today, may we confidently trust that God is with us in the storm and patiently await the calm that’s coming on the other side.
Jesus, thank You for being our anchor through every storm. Help our hearts fiercely cling to the Truth of who You are. May we grow in faith as we wait for calm to come again. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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FOR DEEPER STUDY
Psalm 40:1, “I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry.” (ESV)
What’s one step you can take today to trust Jesus while you wait for your storm to pass? If your heart is feeling battered today, tell us in the comments how we can pray for you!
© 2021 by Meredith Houston Carr. All rights reserved.
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