South Texas is extremely dry this summer. Like, dangerously dry. For months people in this area have been praying for rain. Our Governor even had an official day of prayer for rain a little while back. A couple of nights ago the first measurable rain that we’ve had in months came through with a bang. In the middle of the night. While we were all sleeping. With massive claps of thunder, bright flashes of lightning, hail, high winds and heavy rain.
As I laid in bed, startled awake by the intensity of the storm, I caught myself thinking, “Thank you, God, for this rain, but did it have to be such a loud storm?” I quickly felt convicted for not just being thankful for the benefit of the rain. And then it happened. That still small voice, a little after midnight, decided I needed to learn a lesson.
In life, we face storms. The rain itself is always cleansing, refreshing, life-giving. But the storm…not so much. The storm can be so destructive and damaging. The storm rocks our world and rages on to a point that we can’t see the benefit of the rain. We can so easily lose sight of the fact that our storm, as all storms do, will come to an end. And when the storm is over, the benefit of the rain can finally be measured. But the storm is where God works.
It’s in the storm that we have the chance to let God do His divine thing. The natural thing to try to do is work in our flesh to stop the storm in any way possible. When the reality is, our flesh has no power over this storm. Our power over the storm comes when we finally accept that we have no control. We have no power. But we know the One who does. Our power over the storm begins the second we acknowledge that running to Jesus is the only way the storm will ever end. And it’s the only way to find peace until the storm passes.
I like Mark’s account of Jesus calming the raging sea. In chapter 34, verses 35-41, he tells of how Jesus & the disciples are on the Sea of Galilee when a sudden, raging storm came upon them. As Jesus lay sleeping in the stern of the boat, the disciples panicked. They tried everything on their own to steady the ship and stay afloat. But they were going down. At some point the disciples finally decided to wake Jesus. Isn’t that a little bit like us? It’s not our first reaction to go to Jesus. We try on our own first, and after we fail miserably to calm our own storm, we run to Jesus.
I think it’s interesting that Jesus slept through the storm. It didn’t disturb Him. He knew who was in control. He had no need to wake up because of the storm. He didn’t wake up or intervene until he was asked. Jesus didn’t sleep through the disciples pleas for help. The cry out for help is what moved Jesus to action. The crying out for help is what Jesus responded to when he commanded the wind and the waves to subside. And they did. Mark says that the wind ran out of breath and the sea became as smooth as glass.
The faith of the disciples grew that day. Their knowledge of who Jesus really is grew that day. Their understanding of what the power of Jesus can and wants to do grew that day. Their boldness to share Jesus grew that day.
If there had never been a storm, Jesus would never have had the opportunity to calm it. Jesus would have never had the opportunity to speak peace to his disciples in the midst of it. As you walk through your storm, know that Jesus desires peace for you. But peace can only come when you recognize your inability and ask Him to act in his ability. The storm may not calm the second you release control and cry out to Jesus, but your soul will. Jesus will speak the words that he spoke to the storm and his disciples that day. “Peace! Be still!”