As you read this today, Hurricane Hermine is making her way across the lower third of the state of Georgia. Hopefully she will bring an abundance of much needed rain to Central Georgia. I made a previously planned trip to the grocery store last night and saw plenty of available bread and milk. We are not accustomed to a storm like this in our area, so we might over-prepare just a bit.
We may not experience a weather phenomenon like this very often, but we all experience with storms of circumstances. Storms of circumstances come in many forms including but not limited to health challenges, relationship troubles, job issues, financial difficulty. These life storms can seem devastating. Where is Jesus when circumstances blow up a powerful storm in our lives?
Jesus sent His disciples in a boat across the Sea of Galilee one day knowing they would encounter a storm. The storm was so fierce that even these seasoned fishermen feared for their lives. Jesus’ activity during that storm helps us to see how He works when we encounter life’s storms of circumstances. You can read the story in Mark 6:45-52.
Jesus DIRECTS you during your storm.
The account in Mark tells us that Jesus made them get in the boat. Jesus directed them to go to a place where they would seemingly encounter potentially life threatening peril.
We have the erroneous idea that if we encounter a storm, we must have done something wrong and deserve it. While we do experience storms as a result of our disobedience, sometimes those storms come at the direction of God. Some storms we sin into; some storms He sends us into.
Know that whatever the cause, while you are in your storm, Jesus is directing the affairs of your life. You are never out of the the reach of your Sovereign Lord.
Jesus PRAYS for you during your storm.
After sending the disciples away, Jesus went up on the mountain to pray. The Bible tells us that the Ascended Savior sits at the Father’s right hand and intercedes for us (Romans 8:34). The Son of God mentions your name and your storm to the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe. The One who controls the circumstances of this world hears His Son plead on your behalf. Know that while you endure your storm, Jesus pleads your case before our Father.
Jesus is WATCHING over you during your storm.
After praying for His disciples, Jesus came down from the mountain and He could see the difficulty they faced. The eyes of the Lord are upon you when you encounter one of life’s storms. It may seem no one notices what you go through, but rest assured Jesus sees. He sees and He knows.
Jesus DRAWS NEAR to you during your storm.
Eventually, Jesus walked out on the water and came to the disciples. When they saw him, they thought he was a ghost and cried out in fear. Life’s storms have a way of preventing us from seeing reality clearly. Jesus spoke words of comfort, “It is I; do not fear.” And then, He got into the boat with them. He wants you to hear the same message in your storm. Things are not as they seem in your storm. The storm has distorted your perspective. He’s there in the boat (your life) with you. You have no need to fear.
Jesus INTERVENES for you during your storm.
After speaking to the disciples, Jesus spoke to the storm. When He got into the boat, the storm ceased. The grammatical context indicates the ceasing was immediate. The wind did not die down over time. The rain did not slack up in stages. The clouds did not gradually dissipate. Jesus acted decisively. When He is ready to clear your storm, He will do so immediately and effectively. He may decide to wait for a season and allow you to remain in the storm. When He is ready, however, your storm will end.
What should I do during my storm?
Are you experiencing a life’s storm now? Have life’s circumstances gathered ominously around you? Know that Jesus will do His part in your storm, but you have a part too.
- Look for Jesus in your storm. The disciples saw Him coming to them on the water. Granted, they did not initially recognize Him, but they saw Him. They eventually recognized Him. Look for God moments in your challenging days. Look for the small, tender mercies of the Lord in your circumstances. Sometimes we are looking for the big slash when Jesus appears in the subtle trickle.
- Listen for the Holy Spirit through your storm. The noise of the circumstances make hearing God difficult, but He is speaking. Maybe He will speak through His Word, the encouragement of a friend, or a sudden revelation of His presence. He is speaking. He is saying, “I am here, don’t worry.”
- Learn what He want to teach you from your storm. Mark tells us the disciples did not understand what Jesus was teaching them. Through the miraculous feeding of a crowd and the rescue from a storm, their hard hearts “just didn’t get it.” They failed to learn when Jesus was teaching. Ask God to show you what He wants you to learn through the difficulty of your storm. Jesus could prevent our storm. Sometimes He allows the storm because it’s the only way we would learn the particular lesson we need to learn.
What are some things you have learned about God and yourself through storms of circumstances in your life?