Close your eyes an picture this scene:
“It is a mid to late summer evening. It has been 90 degrees and unbearably humid. You see clouds roll in. They take the sky from a seemingly mid-day setting to dusk within a matter of minutes. You feel the wind pick up, circling around your body as if trying to get you to play. In the clouds, you see flashes of light appear. You watch as bolts of lightning play tag across the sky. In the distance, you hear the deep rumbles of thunder it produces. Slowly, you hear the increased sound of the pitter patter of rain drops falling.”
While you were picturing that, painting a picture in your mind, what emotions stirred within you? Was it excitement? Fear? Uneasiness? Peace? For me, it was calmness and serenity. See, I LOVE a good evening summer storm! There is something relaxing about the sound to me.
When reflecting during a summer storm here the other day, I had God whisper to me, “I am the Calm within the storm…”
I know we have heard about that time in the Bible when Jesus calmed the storm.
That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. Mark 4:35-39 NIV
Even the wind and the waves obeyed him! Wow! What a great example of how powerful our God is. But that’s not all! What if I told you it was an example of who Jesus is?
In the story above, there was a major storm forming all around the Disciples. The wind was strong, the waves more than they could take. They were scared for their lives. And yet, there was Jesus, at the back of the boat, peacefully asleep during the storm. “How?” you ask…
Because Jesus is the calm within the storm.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27
“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6
You see, like the storm in the story, we will also face storms in our lives that toss us about, feeling like more than we can take. For some it may be a financial storm. Others it may be with family. It can be a loss of a job, or a loss of a loved one. Maybe it’s a situational storm, or an emotional storm.
Like the Disciples, if we focus on the wind and the waves, it will be easy to be scared, fearing for our lives. But if we focus on Jesus, and the peace he brings, then we can have calm within the storm.
Think about the picture you drew in your head when I was describing the scene above. Now, picture a man, in a white robe, standing strong in the midst of the storm. He’s holding out his hand to you. What do you feel now?
Jesus is the calm in the storm…..