@robertkwendt || lead pastor
There is one thing I have learned as I've continued to grow older. Life throws us storms. Physical storms. Emotional storms. Spiritual storms.
Recently I listened to a friend explain what he was going through. He had just gotten ahead on his bills and was taking a leisurely drive home from work. Then, he saw it. His entire side of his house was destroyed by a wind storm.
A woman called me. Everything was seeming to come together for her, then a storm hit. Her doctor found a spot that led to a diagnosis of cancer.
A young man wanted to talk. He can't find the motivation to get out of bed in the morning. He is crippled by anxiety and searching for his purpose in this world.
I don't care who you are, what social status you have, or how young or old you might be, there is one thing that we can know about life in this world...storms will come our way. A mentor of mine once said to me, "Enjoy the quiet, seemingly uneventful, and calm times in life. Those are the moments when you are able to recharge before another storm comes your way."
storms can be overwhelming
In Matthew 8:23-27 we read about how Jesus was on a boat with his disciples. In fact, the disciples followed Jesus onto the boat. While Jesus was asleep a storm hit. Overwhelmed by the situation, the disciples began to think they were going to die.
Can you relate? You seem to be enjoying a moment of peace in your life (like a nice day out on the water) when suddenly a storm hits out of nowhere. When we face these situations on our own they can be very overwhelming. We can be overcome with emotion and will jump at whatever seems it may solve our issues. We grasp on to whatever we can, even if in the end that is what actually can do the most harm to us.
In his book, How the Mighty Fall, Jim Collins writes, "When we find ourselves in trouble, when we find ourselves on the cusp of falling, our survival instinct — and our fear — can evoke lurching, reactive behavior absolutely contrary to survival. The very moment when we need to take calm, deliberate action, we run the risk of doing the exact opposite and bringing about the very outcomes we most fear."*
When my wife and I were expecting our first child we said we would not raise our voices in front of him. While I wish I could say I was able to hold true to that, I would be drastically lying if I said I never raised my voice. When caught up in the moment, when I am very frustrated, there are times where I do not stop to think. Instead, I react by raising my voice and by so doing go against the very thing I said I would not do.
This is how we often act when storms hit. We are overwhelmed. We lurch and react in such a way that goes against how we said we wanted to be.
but jesus calms the storms
Here is the thing. We are not alone! Jesus was with the disciples. He is with us.
Matthew 8:26b says, "The he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm."
When we are being attacked. When the storm seems to be hitting us hard, we can cling to Jesus. We can call out in his name for the storm to be calmed. Jesus is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He was in the beginning of creation and he is with us now. He is all powerful and all knowing. He wants to calm the storms in our lives. Like the disciples did then, we can do now...call for him. Then, we can marvel at what he does!
jesus calls it like he sees it
I love what Jesus says in Matthew 8:26a, "Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?"
Jesus calls the disciples out. He challenges them with their faith. Here is the thing...
Storms are overwhelming when our faith is underwhelming."
What kind of faith do you have amidst your storm? Are you trying to do it all on your own? Or are you looking to an all-powerful God?
Often times Jesus uses the storms of life to build our faith. He uses them as opportunities to see him work and move. He uses them to build our relationship with him. He wants us to call out to him. He wants to calm the storms.
Have overwhelming faith that he will.
* How the Mighty Fall by Jim Collins, p. 96