Calm in the Storm

“But now, Lord, what do I look for?
    My hope is in you.”

  • Psalm 39:7

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.
He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid?  Do you still have no faith?”
They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this?  Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

  • Mark 4:35-41

“The sea was beating against the rocks in huge, dashing waves.  The lightning was flashing, the thunder was roaring, the wind was blowing; but the little bird was asleep in the crevice of the rock, its head serenely under its wing, sound asleep.  That is peace – to be able to sleep in the storm!  In Christ, we are relaxed and at peace in the midst of the confusion, bewilderments, and perplexities of life.  The storm rages, but our hearts are at rest.  We have found peace – at last!”

  • Billy Graham, Day by Day with Billy Graham (devotion for 13 January)

The song, He Hideth My Soul, about how God hides our soul in the cleft of the rock is about a totally different Bible story.  Moses was going to get a glimpse of God, but for protection, he was placed in the cleft of a rock and only able to see a little.  Moses was protected in the cleft of the rock and the song writer, Fanny Crosby, went with the idea for each of us.

In Billy Graham’s story, the small bird knew that God was protecting him in the cleft of the rock.

In the story from Mark 4, Jesus was not even in the cleft of a rock.  He was in a boat that could sink any minute, but, like the small bird, He was asleep.  He was at peace.

But when we have little ripples in the water, we anticipate stronger waves and start whining before the big waves arrive.  Why is that?  If we have the same person who slept through a monster storm within us, we should have the same peace He had in the boat.

As Jesus said of His disciples at the time, “Why are you so afraid?  Do you still have no faith?”

Hey, I am right there with you at times.  I just told my wife this morning that we needed to tighten the budget.  I feared more unnecessary spending leading us to oblivion, but God is in charge there too, not just the winds and the waves.  I was afraid.  You see, I had just paid the bill for our trip to Tennessee and I had just bought my wife an airline ticket for a wedding in Texas.  Neither of those things are within our budget now that we have car payments.  When it comes to the airline ticket, you don’t want to think about it, but it might be the last time she sees her sisters and they never seem to travel anywhere for any reason, at least the ones in Texas.  I told her that things might change when we move to Tennessee.  We would be a lot closer to Texas, about two-thirds of the way.  That move may not be for a while and who knows what will happen between now and then.

As far as the confession of fear is concerned. When I started this blog, I asked the question about finances a lot in my prayers, but the answer in my head was “have faith.” As the balance got low, I got a bit shaky, but right after scheduling the post a few days ago, the stimulus check arrived in the mailbox, within the hour. God let’s me know that I should have faith quite often. This time in definite terms. The check was coming, but just as I scheduled this post? Nope, I still do not believe in coincidences.

But do I fear those things that might alter our ‘plans’ to move?  No.  I am waiting for my wife’s fistula, for doing kidney dialysis permanently, to grow into maturity and for the procedure to remove the temporary catheter to be done and healed.  Then we can pack and move.  We might throw away some stuff in the meantime.

But fear?  There will always be the unknown, but I know who is within me.  He points the way, and I go.  I might be the one driving, so I will not be sleeping, but as long as I am the co-pilot and Jesus is leading the way, I know I will be safe.

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.

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