April 26th 2010

Not Always Storm-Free

“He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed.”
Psalm 107:29 (NIV)

We find this scripture fulfilled in Matthew 8:23-27, “Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him.  Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat.  But Jesus was sleeping.  The disciples went and woke him, saying, ‘Lord, save us!  We’re going to drown!’ He replied, ‘You of little faith, why are you so afraid?’  Then he got up and rebuked the wind and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, ‘What kind of man is this?  Even the winds and the waves obey him.’”

Jesus calms the storm.  The story appears in three of the Gospels – Matthew, Mark, and Luke.  It is a powerful passage.  Let’s look a little closer and see what we can learn about our own lives and about God.

Let’s first take a look at the storm.  The Bible says the storm came up “without warning”.  Like the weather, the storms in our lives sometimes take us by surprise.  They are frequently unpredictable and seldom come at opportune times.  Often, we’re unprepared for what they bring.

The storm in this passage is described as “furious” – “the waves swept over the boat”.  This was no annoying drizzle or light breeze – this was a wind-gusting, wave-building, boat-drenching storm.  And sometimes we experience similar storms – the kind that can turn our lives upside down. I think it’s important to note that this storm fell upon men who were following Jesus.  Following Christ doesn’t assure us that we won’t run into trouble.  The Christian life is not always easy – it’s not always “storm-free.”  The disciples certainly went through them, and so will we.

Let’s look now at the response of the disciples.  They were afraid for their lives and thought they might drown.  So they woke Jesus.  They went to their Lord.  They knew who to turn to in the midst of the storm.  I wonder how long they waited.  Did they go to wake Jesus immediately, or did they try to battle the storm for a while on their own?  I’m not sure, but we do know they went to Jesus hoping he would save them. 

What was Jesus’ response?  After a brief rebuke of their lack of faith, he turned his attention to the storm and demonstrated his control.  He “rebuked the wind and the waves” and completely calmed the storm.  The wind and waves obeyed him.  The Lord had power over the storm.

Our Lord also has power over the storms of our lives.  He is in control and able to calm any storm.  Even when the storms of life are raging, terrifying, and unpredictable – God is in control.  The one who settled the sea and calmed the storm years ago is able to do the same in our lives today. 

Prayer

Dear God, I call out to you today to calm the storm that is raging in my life. I don’t want to wait any longer to call on you for help. I trust you.

Amen 

Study by Fraser Murdoch

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