I’ve been finding great nuggets these last few weeks as I re-read through my copy of Moments with the Savior: A Devotional Life of Christ by Ken Gire. The chapter entitled An Incredible Moment in a Storm has resonated with me. Below is an excerpt of what I’m talking about.
That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 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!”
The constant crush of the crowds have given him (Jesus) no margin in which to rest or refresh himself. So when evening comes after another exhausting day of teaching, Jesus is ready for a sequestered Sabbath from the long week his body and soul have put in.
Suddenly in a bracing affront to the calm idyllic night, a gust of cold wind slaps the sail. Tirades of wind shriek at the sail, causing it to flap and pop in nervous response.
Heaving waves toss the boat back and forth on it’s frothy crests. Some of the disciples frantically bail, while others pull at the oars, while still others wrestle to subdue the erratic sail.
Meanwhile, there i s a calm eye in the midst of this storm. Jesus is fast asleep. “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
Jesus awakes to a down pair of faithless eyes, bloodshot with terror. He turns his piercing gaze toward the storm.
“Quiet! Be still!”
The sail falls limp. The boat steadies itself. The storm is over.
“Who is this?Even the wind and the waves obey him?”
Then their eyes see.
He who stands before them is no mere teacher or prophet or faith healer. He who stands before them holds the wild mane of nature in the tight grip of his hands. To him, the unbridled forces of nature submit, without so much as a kick or a whinny of resistance.
And in the wet, shivering presence of such a power, the disciples stand terrified, knowing that the man who slept in the stern rose from that sleep to do what only God himself could do.
Dear Master of the Wind and Waves,
Help me when the sudden storms of life come crashing over me with their fierce winds and frothing waves. I have seen enough storms, Lord, to know how quickly peaceful circumstances can turn into catastrophe.
I have seen the strong become weak with disease. I have seen the freest of spirits become enslaved with addiction. I have seen the brightest of stars fall like meteors in a streak of dying fame.
Yes, Lord, I have seen a lot of storms. Too many of other people’s to feel untouchable. Too many of my own to feel critical or proud or unsympathetic.
Some dear people I love, Lord are going through some tempestuous times right now. I pray that you would be with them. Help them see you in the midst of their storms – you who rule the wind and waves with only a word.
And help them to see that no matter how devastating the storm that sweeps over them, you do care if they drown. Help them not to be hasty in judging our concern for them during those times when their lives seem to be sinking and you seem to be asleep at the stern.
Help them to see that you allow storms in their lives to strengthen them – not to shipwreck them. And help them to see that it is you who not only points out the direction their lives should take but who rides with them to hasten their safe passage.
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for being there during their individual storms. And when uncertain seas unsettle their faith, turn their attention to you so that the tempest in their souls might be quieted and made still…..