I adore storms. This week the girls and I got to watch a pretty decent one. We saw it starting to roll in, so we went out on the back patio and watched. The sky was greenish and tiny drops of rain were occasionally falling when the siren went off, so we went back inside. We pulled up a weather website to make sure it was just a thunderstorm (vs. tornados) and decided to watch the storm from our front double doors. In the five minutes or so since we’d gotten inside, the storm hit. By the time we opened the front doors, rain was falling in sheets and the wind was blowing our trees around like crazy.
I was reminded of Matt. 8:23-27. The disciples and Jesus are in the boat and Jesus is asleep when “suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat” (NIV). No warning, and, as my kids say about stress levels, it went from 0-60 in a matter of moments.
Life happens like that, doesn’t it? We had something happen last week that felt completely out of the blue and way more stress than I want in my life. My illness happened the same way–one day I was dealing with basic chronic fatigue and then the next I couldn’t put weight on one leg because my joints stopped holding my bones in place. Things are going along and suddenly, bam! everything gets nuts.
I love how Jesus talks to the disciples. They freak out and wake Him up, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” (NIV) Obviously it was quite a storm if the fishermen were panicking over drowning. Jesus simply replies, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” and then He calms the storm.
I love that He asks them why they’re so afraid. His mere presence guarantees their safety, despite the fact that He’s asleep at the time. It’s like in Matt. 14:22-33 where Jesus tells Peter to come out of the boat and as long as Peter focuses on Jesus, he can walk on the water, but as soon as he focuses on the wind and the waves, he sinks.
It’s super easy to forget God’s presence when “suddenly a storm” happens in our lives. It’s easy to feel like God isn’t aware of the reality of our situation. It’s easy to feel like we’re the furthest thing from safe. But the reality is quite different. God knows the storms we’re going through. God is keeping us safe even as the waves are high enough to soak us.