A worldwide pandemic is not a literal storm, but I imagine it feels as unsettling as Jonah before he jumped overboard or the disciples before they saw Jesus walking on the water toward them.
While the current COVID-19 panic seems to be the biggest storm on the horizon, it’s not the only one. Parents are still dying of cancer, children are still rebelling in the most heart-rending ways, and divorce is still sideswiping many.
Jesus told us that we would have tribulations in this world (John 16:33). Not might. Not maybe. But definitely. So it would behoove us to be prepared.
We need to learn to see Jesus in the midst of every storm. While he did not promise us smooth sailing, he did promise to be with us at all times.
“How apt is faith to stagger if it is not powerfully undergirded.”Richard Baxter
When I was a teenager, my brother and I spent a summer sailing around Puget Sound on our grandparents’ sailboat. We had a blast earning our Junior Seamanship Certificates and sailing from island to island.
Being Washington state, the weather wasn’t always sunny with a light wind. No, there were frequent storms replete with thunder, lightning, strong winds, and heavy rains.
The sailboat would rock violently from side to side as rain lashed the decks. We would lower the sails so as not to be pushed about more by the wind. Walking around, even below decks, was impossible. Sometimes my grandpa would drop anchor, and we would ride out the storm in the relative safety of a harbor.
A few times, though, we were out in the main channel when the wind whipped up, and no immediate port of safety was available. But I was never afraid, even when we were told to batten down the hatches and go below decks. My grandpa was the most competent sailor and had weathered many storms; I trusted him implicitly to pilot the sailboat and us through the storm to safety. And he did. Every time.
Jesus is even better than Sailor Jack.
When Jesus and his disciples were sailing one day, Jesus fell asleep and slept through a terrible storm. The disciples woke Jesus up because they thought they were going to die in the storm. Jesus, after he calmed the storm, said, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” (Mark 4:40).
Faith is the anchor for our souls. We need to soak up the Word through reading, meditating on, practicing, and passing on the Word of God (Romans 10:17) so that when trials come, our faith may be steadfast (James 1:2-3).
What’s your current storm? Please share, so I can pray with you!