“The disciples went and woke him, saying, ‘Master, Master, we’re going to drown!’ He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided and all was calm.”
Have you been there? Has life ever dealt you a blow that made you feel as though you were drowning? It is that overwhelming sense of dread accompanied by fear and paralysis. The unsuspecting wife who is told she is no longer loved knows that feeling. She is overwhelmed at the prospect of facing her future without her beloved husband.
Your neighbor knows the feeling. He was the loyal employee with 27 years of dedicated service to his company; he rarely missed work and loved his job. When he was called to a meeting in Human Resources, he was stunned to learn that he would be joining the ranks of the unemployed.
The company calls it downsizing but it’s really about ageism. Barely coherent and numb from shock, the calculating employer wields the coup de grâce to the faithful employee by having security guards escort him to the nearest exit. And who hasn’t been touched by a dreaded diagnosis? Life changes in an instant, a future filled with planned vacations and enjoyable activities is abruptly and decidedly abandoned and medical treatments replace travel itineraries and dreams of the future.
How do we survive life’s inevitable storms? What do we do when we feel that Jesus is asleep as the wind and raging waters rage about us? We want to cling to Jesus, but He slips through our wet and trembling hands. We scream that we’re drowning, but He appears to be apathetic to our pleas. The sound of the howling wind and the terror of the turbulent waters render even the most faithful follower confused and disoriented. Paul articulated the intensity of his despair in 2 Corinthians 1:8: “We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself.” Living in this fallen world ensures these types of storms will inevitably visit us all in some way and at some time.
We are encouraged when Luke reminds us that Jesus spoke to the wind and the raging waters and the storm subsided. Jesus will, in the same way, speak to His children — and then the storms in our hearts and minds recede. It is often in the midst of our disabling heartbreak that we are sustained by Jesus’ pointed and specific promises. When the Holy Spirit speaks to us, we hear the mind of Christ, our heart aligns itself with the heart of God, and we are calmed.
We may not always understand the inner workings of God’s sovereignty, but the trusting heart knows that no good thing does He withhold from those whose walk is blameless (Psalm 84:11). The veracity of God’s character anchors His children securely in the promise that His ultimate intent is to prosper, not to harm, to give hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). We are reminded in Job 36:15, “The suffering are delivered in their suffering as God speaks to them in their affliction.” We are exhorted in Psalm 46:10 to, “Be still and know that I am God.” Our souls find rest in Him alone.
Father God, thank you for quieting the storms of our soul, for quieting our hearts with your words and for mercifully speaking to us in our affliction. Let the one who is wise take heed and ponder the loving deeds of the Lord (Psalm 107:33). Grant us, O Lord, an eternal perspective that we may overcome our fears and trepidation and live in the light of God’s infinite grace and mercy. In the name of Jesus. Amen.