Ever looked at the forecast, seen a 10% chance of rain only to be greeted by a day filled with showers and wind so heavy you can’t keep your eyes open long enough to find the object closest to you, your umbrella loses its sole purpose, and even the polka dot rain boots you love so much have a difficult time keeping up with the flood? If you live in Texas, this isn’t even a question, it’s guaranteed to have happened to you more than once.
We all run into days where we expect a still calm and instead are met with the heavy weight of disaster, or at least what feels like disaster. I’ve realized a tendency in myself recently in the midst of those days to act as though that still calm is ever-present despite the explosions surrounding me. And like a mantra, I repeat over and over to myself, “Trust the Lord. He is good. He is sovereign.” I believe those truths but I also realized the ‘trust’ piece to that puzzle tends to change it’s equation depending on my day. I control what trust I put in Him by taking the situations in front of me and watering each one down to be nothing but serene.
Fog? Mist? Drizzle? Forrest Gump rain? Hail? Acid rain? Tornado? Hurricane? Typhoon? Psshhh, nothing but pure, unadulterated serenity. My smile becomes increasingly more fake and I put that ‘trust’ in my own ability to change my perception of the day and what others see me as perceiving it instead of trusting in the Lord’s power and being authentic and honest about the difficulties. His power over everything from misty days to hurricanes. He is in charge of everything.
Matthew 8:23-27 – “And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?””
How often have I both read and taught about Jesus calming the storm and never sat in the magnitude of that storm? How often have I questioned the faith of the disciples? It’s easy for us to wonder how the disciples could have possibly been afraid when they had Jesus physically right there with them, in the midst of the storm, but do we ever really think about just how big the storm was? The boat was being swamped by the waves and Jesus was asleep.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever volunteered to be on a boat that’s surrounded by massive waves, in the process of flooding, and you have nowhere to go? **All the crickets chimed in** These weren’t small waves, this wasn’t a small storm, they weren’t able to just go inside and wait it out. The boat was flooding. As someone who is in absolute awe of the water and everything within it’s grasp and will take any opportunity to be out on a boat, I can tell you right now I would have been absolutely terrified. I would have been afraid for my life and would have also wondered where the Lord was at in the midst of the storm, to calm it. I would have wondered why Jesus was asleep and how He could be asleep. My faith would have been small.
Is it not the same when I pretend the storms around me are sunshine and rainbows? Is my faith not small when I fully ignore the magnitude of the storm and play it off as trusting the Lord? That isn’t trusting Him, not fully. It’s limiting Him and His power. He doesn’t wait to meet us where we’re at until we’ve learned to handle the waves and flooding in the storm ourselves. He doesn’t leave us until the worst has passed or abandon us in the midst of each storm. He shows us mercy and He is present with us.
While we may question their faith, the disciples followed Him instead of keeping their feet on sure and steady ground and in their fear, the disciples went to Him. They truly thought their lives were on the line and they woke Him with their prayers instead of making light of the situation, masking it or resting in their own abilities.
In their fear, they went to Him.
You see, my attempt to change the way I perceive the storms around me boils down to fear and the desire to control the situation. Recently, incredibly difficult goodbyes and a multitude of unknowns have crept their way in, with no end in sight and each day I’ve done my best to paste on a smile that reflects serenity instead of really sitting in the fog and rain. In fear of recent changes and all of the unknowns, I’ve circled back to myself instead of trusting in the Lord’s power, sovereignty, goodness and love.
Jesus doesn’t rescue the disciples from the sea, but instead calms it. He may not remove us from the storms, but one thing we can known without a shadow of a doubt is that He is most certainly there with us.
It’s time to rest in the storm by resting in our Creator.