It’s the feeling I get when I know what I’m in for, when my son wakes up nauseous with a fever and I know exactly what my day will look like: it won’t be what I’d planned. All plans will be set aside. The day will entail temperature taking, medication dispensing, floor wiping, bucket rinsing, clothes and sheets washing, nose wiping, tea and dry toast — you get the idea. The weather feeds this morning all say a storm is coming our way. It’s an official hurricane and expected to land on our town tomorrow. Whether it be a hurricane or the onset of a sudden illness, the feeling I get with news of an impending storm is always the same. I am braced for an altered agenda, and I am mustering reserves to respond with strength and resolve to equal the storm. All focus shifts to one thing, weathering the storm well.
When the storm is severe, however, circumstances and emotions can change quickly. We can quickly grow afraid and confused. We can despair, sometimes even for our life. Fear can wreck resolve and leave us panicky. Anxiety can make us irrational. Soon we are no longer focused on weathering the storm well. We are focused on a fear of the worst possible outcome. Jesus’ disciples fell into that trap. They were in a boat and suddenly caught in a windstorm. As their boat filled with water, they feared the worst. They were convinced it was their time of death. That’s when they woke a sleeping Jesus, saying, “Master, Master! We are perishing!” With none of their melodrama, Jesus got up and “rebuked” the wind and raging water. He looked at his awe-struck students as the storm quieted and rebuked them with a question: “Where is your faith?”
The only way to weather storms well is to trust the one who has the power to silence them with a word. God certainly chooses to use storms for his purposes. He does not always remove us from harm’s way, but he does expect us to trust him no matter how much water is swamping our boat.
The disciples marveled at the power of Jesus. Our awe need not be spent on the storm but on our Savior. When the storm is upon us, our God is in the boat; and he is not afraid.
But my eyes are fixed on you, O Sovereign LORD; in you I take refuge—do not give me over to death. -Psalm 141:8
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. – Heb. 12:2