Wednesday, May 30, 2018

3 Lessons We Can Learn in the Storm

There are times in your life when a crisis comes and you're left feeling helpless.

It could be an untimely accident, the sudden death of a spouse, a wayward child, or a severe illness.You wonder out loud, "Lord, don't you care?" 

Of course, you know He does...but you feel abandoned and disillusioned.  The key is to remember that they are feelings, not reality.  Perception can be the very thing that keeps you from seeing the Lord at work. When we cry out to God in anguish - we often already know the answer…

Let's look at this familiar passage in Mark 4:35-41  (also Matthew 8:23-27 , Luke 8:22-25)

On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.” Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was.  And other little boats were also with Him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”

The Sea of Galilee, also know as the Sea of Tiberias is prone to abrupt and vicious storms. This body of water is roughly 200 feet deep and sits 680 feet below sea level. Northeast of the Sea of Galilee is Mount Hermon that reach upward 9000 feet above sea level. When the cool, dry air from the summit clashes with the warm, semitropical air near the sea shore it results in chaos. The varied differences in air pressure and wind direction combine to produce a weather phenomena that in turn spawns fierce and sudden storms.

Jesus' disciples left the multitude and took Him along in the boat. He often withdrew by Himself to rest. Jesus plainly said they would cross over to the other side. In effect He said, "You will get there." He was in one fishing boat with His disciples and there were other little boats along side.

There are times when we will face problems at home with our unbelieving spouse. We are in one boat and there might be other little boats nearby. But other times we are completely alone. Your best friend isn’t there to give advice. Your Mom isn’t there to console you. Your church family isn’t there to pray with you. You are all by yourself. What do you do?

Here are three lessons we can learn in the storm:

1. Trust the One who is sovereign in your times of despair and uncertainty

Satan loves to play on our feelings of fear and hopelessness because he then uses them to isolate and control us. He is a liar and will coax you to doubt yourself and your belief in God. Your spouse will draw upon their own set of crisis management skills, but as an unbeliever, they will fall woefully short. However, as a believer you have taken Him with you (Joshua 1:5). God is always there as you make your way through your circumstances.

When a great storm arises, you can bet the boat you are in will feel like it’s sinking. The waves of anger, uncertainty, and anxiousness will beat against its hull. The water of despair will begin seeping in. Your hope will feel like it has holes in it. Whatever you do, don’t sabotage your own rescue by trying to “fix it by yourself”. 

2. Remember - Jesus is in that rocky little boat with you and He cares for you

The fishing boats they were in had shallow sides and were prone to taking on water rather easily. The scripture says their boats were already swamped. Jesus was in the stern of the boat fast asleep on a cushion (generally reserved for the helmsman). He was tired and needed rest. He had preached all day and was exhausted. However, as God, we know He never tires as Psalm 121:4 declares, “Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.”

Our Lord laid down His head in total peace knowing what lay ahead for them. There was no anxiety on His part and clearly He trusted His Father to preserve them. The disciples were seasoned sailors who were familiar with rapid changing weather conditions. Yet, they awoke Him, pleading with Him to do something. They were fearful and perceived they might die. Yet, you would think they would trust Him after the many miracles and signs He had done. Where was the faith they should have had in who He was?

Aren’t we just like them, demanding that God hear us while we yell, “Do You not care that we are perishing? Perhaps they remembered the writing of the sons of Korah in Psalm 44:23, “Awake! Why do You sleep, O Lord? Arise! Do not cast us off forever.”

3. Be encouraged... He rebukes our winds of “what if’” and He calms our "sea         of panic"

Jesus stood and rebuked the wind, and calmed the sea. Just as demons shrank upon His vocal commands to be silent, so do the elements recoil and cease. The Creator of all nature commanded them to hush and be still...

If we are to display Christ’s attributes and ride the undercurrents of peace, we must stay anchored to our hope, and let Him take control of the situation. Your spouse is observing your reaction to the crisis, and you must let Jesus shine through.

When Jesus spoke to them, it was with a gentle rebuke. How often does He do that with us? Your spirit is quickened and you perceive His loving assurance and grace. These are teachable moments which we must embrace eagerly.

The disciples were in awe of what they had just witnessed. The question they asked one another was, “Who can this be…?” Indeed, that is the question we must ask ourselves, for in its answer, we find the One who has the words of eternal life (John 6:68).

This hymn by J. Wilbur Chapman (1859-1918) talks about Jesus being 
our friend and protector. Stanzas 3 and 4 below speaks volume:

                                                   Jesus! What a help in sorrow!
                                                   While the billows o’er me roll,
                                                  Even when my heart is breaking,
                                                  He, my Comfort, helps my soul.
                                                 Jesus! what a Guide and Keeper!
                                                     While the tempest still is high,
                                              Storms about me, night o’ertakes me,
                                                     He, my Pilot, hears my cry.

Deborah is the author of a Christian non-fiction book titled “Mission Possible”. It was written for women who love the Lord Jesus, but their spouse doesn’t share their passion.  It will encourage and challenge the reader to embrace God’s promises for their spouse and future together.  Visit

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