On the 17th of December, 2020, I posted a new page to the TransformingTidbits section of the BibleBuildingBlocks site with the title, Asleep in the Storm. Though I cannot recall all the life details which prompted the writing I know the look into Scripture encouraged me.
I am sure you can relate because storms in life rage for most of us. In the last ten days I lost one of my best friends and offered comfort to his family by speaking at the memorial service. If you’ve never had that assignment trust me that it is harder than one might think.
Last evening came the news that my late father’s brother, Freddie, passed away. Out of seven boys born to Woodrow and Perditia Nichols, one now remains.
The evening had more to offer as I learned that my daughter, Michelle, will undergo major surgery next week. She’s nearly 5000 miles away. What can I do? Worry? Lie awake late at night?
I can relate to those disciples in that little boat as it filled with water from the storm’s pounding. They rowed their hearts out, and bailed like their lives depended on the effort. I am certain one or two screamed to no avail. But the winds continued to howl and the water continued to rise.
And where was Jesus? Asleep in the stern! Was He in any danger of drowning? Had their plight escaped His attention? Could His care for them have expired? Well, go back and read the article to find the answer, but here’s a spoiler.
I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel Will neither slumber nor sleep.Psalms 121:1-4 NASB
It is uncanny how God’s timing aligns with my struggles. I read His Word according to a schedule, and somehow He knew exactly what I needed to read this week. Take a look at this gem which I call Storms 101. It’s the basics we need to help us weather the blast.
Some went off to sea in ships, plying the trade routes of the world. They, too, observed the LORD’s power in action, his impressive works on the deepest seas. He spoke, and the winds rose, stirring up the waves. Their ships were tossed to the heavens and plunged again to the depths; the sailors cringed in terror. They reeled and staggered like drunkards and were at their wits’ end. “LORD, help!” they cried in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He calmed the storm to a whisper and stilled the waves. What a blessing was that stillness as he brought them safely into harbor! Let them praise the LORD for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them.Psalms 107:23-31 NLT
Note these key points:
- His is the power to control the storm and its intensity.
- When I operate under my own strength the storm overpowers me every time. I can’t row or bail fast enough to scheme an exit route.
- Terror and fear are not marks of spiritual maturity.
- I reach my wits end and finally realize that I can do nothing to alleviate the situation.
- Storms accomplish His purpose.
- Storms show us we can’t handle life alone. We need Him. We must have His guidance. We learn to depend on His resources.
- We turn to Him and cry out. It’s a simple prayer straight from the heart, only two words, “Lord, help!”
- And He hears and answers.
- He saves us from our distress.
- He calms the storm to a whisper.
- He stills the waves.
Note the writer’s summation, “What a blessing was that stillness…”
Blessing indeed. Sweet relief! Awesome power. Unbounded grace. Infinite mercy. He is Lord in the storms and Lord of the storms.
“Lord, help me not to waste this adversity. Help me to learn to trust You fully at the first hint of trouble. To rely on Your guidance and to rest confidently that You have purpose in the storm. Build my faith as only You can do. Help me to lay my head on the pillow and sleep, just like Jesus did, knowing that You are awake and working. Amen”
“Peace” by Shawn Rae Nichols © 2011. Used by permission.