Do you like stormy weather? I LOVE it when the sky turns dark, the wind starts to blow, and the thunder rumbles. Counting the seconds from the lighting flash and anticipating the thunder, waiting while the storm gets closer and closer — mmmm, one of my favorite things! I especially enjoy sitting in my gazebo in the woods while the rain pours down. It sounds like the trees are clapping their hands, applauding their Maker for the refreshing shower.
The New Testament tells of two different times when Jesus and His disciples
encountered storms. Luke 8:22-25 tells of a time when they were on a boat crossing a lake when a storm blew up. Jesus was asleep in a boat, as the disciples battles the waves. Several of these men were seasoned fishermen, accustomed to riding out storms on the water. This one must have been really bad to have them fearing for their lives. The boat began filling with water, threatening to sink, so the men woke Jesus. He simply spoke to the wind and the waves, “Peace! Be still!” At once the wind quieted and the sea was calm. Can you imagine the awe of the disciples that their their Master could control nature with just a word?
Another storm happens in John 5:15-22. Before daybreak, the morning after Jesus’ miracle of feeding the 5000, He sent the disciples ahead of Him across the Sea of Galilee while He went to pray. As they were out on the sea, a storm blew up. They tired to row the boat to land, but were unable to. Then Jesus came to them, walking on the water. In both of these instances, God used the storms to accomplish His purpose.
But not all storms are caused by weather. Sometimes we have “storms” in our lives-time of trouble: illness, accident, relationship problems, financial struggles, perhaps the death of a loved one… We may wonder why God would allow these things to happen to us. It’s important to keep in mind that God uses storms in our lives for different reasons: to make us stronger in our faith (as with the disciples), to bring us back to him after we have strayed away (Jonah 1 & 2), maybe to teach us compassion in order to help someone else through a similar “storm.” We can’t know God’s reasons, but we CAN trust Him to see us through the wind and waves. He promises over and over that He will never leave us or forsake us (Matthew 28:20b). Even when we can’t “feel” His Presence, we can be assured that He is there because of that promise. There is w popular Christian song that says, “sometimes He calms the storm, and sometimes He calms His child.” The storms of life mat still rage around us, but God can give peace in the midst of them.