Saw a church sign that read:
“Jesus calms the storms of life”
Can I say out loud that I think that’s not always true? Oh no, I hear a rumbling in the church pews! Before you start picking up stones, I’d like to add, I believe He can… and there are times He does. No doubt. My God has more power in his pinky toe to quiet all the storms that rage, to still the mightiest of winds that threatens to beat us up, and rescue us out of the water that longs to hold us under. He wouldn’t even have to flex a muscle. He could just use His voice, “Be Still” and complete peace would awe even the toughest skeptic. But I have a hard time with this sign standing high, promising such things. I guess I’m tired of God getting a bad wrap and maybe it’s because we win people with things that aren’t completely accurate about God and then there’s a let-down effect. Too many times people come to Jesus because they hear “He’ll fix your problem” or “He’ll calm your storms” and when the storm continues to rage they think, “Well, obviously this is a bunch of junk. This ‘Jesus’ didn’t do anything for me! My storm still rages!” They are let down and put out with God because they point at the sign and say, “He didn’t do what He was supposed to do!” Shoot, I’d love an easy life. I’d love a life without storms, without trials, without pain… and fortunately that’s a life that’s in my future (it’s called Heaven). But I’m not home yet. I’m here with my hair whipping around, smacking me in the face, and the water filling up the bottom of my boat!
What I’ve come to learn and love about God is that He is a very present God in the midst of such storms. He is near, as close as a whisper, as close as my skin, with a hand extended. He indeed is our Savior! Our hope and rescue. He is with us. That is what He promises. He might and He might not calm our storm, but His promise to walk with us in the midst of that storm stands true! There have been many times I’ve cried out to God to change my circumstances or my frustrations and He chooses not to, but He still responds and it’s usually by saying, “Don’t fear. Hold on to Me, Heather! Brace yourself against Me. Lean into My chest.” An offer I can’t refuse. I pin myself against this safe refuge. And in this moment, with His beautiful Spirit, He calms ME… not the storm… ME! And even when the waters rise or the wind picks up, I’m fine. Actually, more than fine. I’m at peace.
He is above all things: our circumstances, our pain, the ever-changing circumstances in this life! We are told to cry out to Him (Psalm 18:6). We are told we can ask for things (Matthew 7:7-12). So don’t hesitate to ask God to calm your storm. You’re not crazy for wanting the rocking of your boat to cease! We all await the moment we feel the settling of the water, and we can finally get up from the fetal position to witness the clouds parting. And as we shield our squinting eyes we see the sun emerging, coming to warm our skin with promises of better days ahead. Setting sail on calm water with nothing but blue skies calling you forward never feels so good! But don’t lose heart if your cry seems to bring no change or if it doesn’t magically cease your rocking boat. I’ll say it again, DON’T LOSE HEART! You can trust Him.
If you are in a storm, know that an even greater promise remains, One that promises to carry you through the storm! He is not ignoring you, He is near, He loves you, and if He’s not stilling the storms He’s wanting to still YOU. A Peace that holds your hand, calms your fears, silences the “what if’s” and brings strength to your trembling knees.
Put your hope in the One that is your only Hope not in the hope of a storm-less life!
Be still, and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10).