I was communicating with a friend on Facebook a little while ago and mentioned we need to get together after the storm passes, referring of course to the coronavirus “storm”.
As soon as I hit the post comment button, I had these thoughts – “What am I doing IN the storm?” “How can I make it THROUGH the storm?”
Have you ever stopped to consider the way you enter a room, a situation, or even a storm pretty much determines how you’ll leave it? Or the actions you take within have a bearing on the way you’ll live without?
What if we’re so consumed with the storm itself that it becomes our sole focus? Can we become so paralyzed with fear we stop living, even after the storm has long passed?
Matthew, one of Jesus’ original disciples, told of such a situation he and his pals went through. A storm of storms, if you will.
Now when Jesus saw a crowd around him, he gave orders to go over to the other side. 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. Matthew 8:18, 23 – 8:27 ESV
Jesus told His disciples to get into the boat because they needed to get to the other side. The journey was something like 5-8 miles. Lots of water to traverse. Not exactly easy to to do when everything is calm. But it became almost impossible part way into the trip.
And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. Matthew 8:24 ESV
“There arose a great storm…” I looked up the Greek word for storm, just to try and get a better picture of what Matthew and the boys were dealing with. I mean, how bad could it really have been? Just how big were the waves? Swamped? Surely he was exaggerating, don’t you agree?
It couldn’t have been nearly as bad as some of the stuff you and I have had to deal with. Right? Matthew was used to having it easy, having been a rich tax collector. So he got a little wet. Big deal.
Actually, it WAS a big deal.
The Greek word Matthew used for “storm” was “seismos”. Ring any bells? It’s the word we translate as “earthquake”.
“There arose an earthquake…” The disciples weren’t just contending with winds and waves. The whole lake was shaking, which would have caused the waves to be much greater than a strong wind storm could ever muster.
No wonder the boat was swamped.
And no wonder they were worried and feared for their lives.
But you see, if they had recognized a certain truth before they went INTO the storm it would have helped them DURING the storm.
What was the truth? Jesus’ word.
“He gave orders to go over to the other side.” In other words, “Here is God’s will for us at this moment. We’re going to the other side of the lake.”
As far as He was concerned, since He knew what they were to do, then come hell or high water they would make it to the other side. He could get in the boat and enjoy some shut-eye while they made the trip.
It’s something the disciples SHOULD have known BEFORE the storm, but thankfully they learned it by the time they reached the other side.
And, thank God, Jesus was with them the whole time.
Jesus always keeps His promises and always honors His Word. No storm will keep Him away from you. No earthquake or spiritual shaking or quaking can stop Him or you from fulfilling your destiny in Him.
YOU can apply the brakes. YOU can jump ship. YOU can throw up your hands in fear and frustration and shout to whoever you think may listen, “I’ve had enough of this mess! From now on I’m going to take everything nice and easy. Forget it! I’m gonna play it safe so I’ll never have to weather another storm.”
Yes, you can do those things if you want to. But is that really how you want to live?
If you don’t have faith to walk with God through the storms of life, you’ll never have faith to walk anywhere. Faith is not faith until it’s tried by fire.
What are YOU doing with your faith in THIS storm? Have you noticed Jesus in the boat with you? If so, have you been trying to wake Him up?
Maybe you could take your cue from Him and just sit back and rest a while.
And let the peace that passes all understanding keep your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.
It will help you greatly once you get through this ordeal.
After the storm passes.
Photo Courtesy of National Geographic