“Storms were expected, but they were incredibly unpredictable.” He paused here. “Storms ARE expected, but they are very unpredictable. Like in life.”
My pastor preached on Jesus caring from Mark 4: 35- 41.
On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
Mark 4:35-41 ESV
I have always wondered how it must have felt to be the disciples. Can you imagine, literally sitting at the feet of Jesus, seeing Him heal and hearing Him teach. Seeing Him interact with the “unclean”, just KNOWING Him in that way. What a privilege!
But on that boat, their awe probably would match mine should I ever be on a small boat in a big storm. All of that was gone. All they could think was: “WE ARE GOING TO DIE!!!”
I remember going boating on Blue Marsh with my brothers and a family friend. It was finally my turn to ride the tube. And I loved it. And then I got bounced off. No big deal, right?
Apparently according to Mike and some others, Blue Marsh was home to all manner of monsters that nibble and bite. And while they were joking, when you see bobbing around in the water while the boat continues on without you…
It’s safe to say, I freaked out.
I mean, screaming, yelling, and in the midst positive that this would be it, I was going to die.
I mean, it was not long until Mike circled back and picked me up. But still, my mind freaked out.
Imagine being in a small boat in a big storm.
And the Jesus you love, who performs miracles and delivers people from demon possession, who taught and loved, He lies there, on a cushion. Asleep.
I remember when Callan was young. He would refuse to sleep. And I would be exhausted. So tired I could barely function. Feeling alllllll the emotions and what do I hear? Lamar snoring.
SNORING. Completely oblivious to my emotional and mental freakouts because I was so tired.
I’m not saying Jesus was oblivious. I am saying He was so tired from teaching and being around all those crowds of people. He was fully God, but also fully man.
I remember the phone call, informing us a dear family friend had died.
I keenly remember that day the doctor said my baby would not live.
I remember the day the midwife looked at me, sadness in her eyes, and stated: “There is no heartbeat.”
I remember the phone call saying there was something wrong with my dad.
Storms are a part of life.
It is easy though, to watch someone else suffer. To bring them meals, clean, buy them a gift.. It is expected that storms will come, but we never expect what does come our way.
I feel often, when a storm comes, “God, I didn’t do anything to deserve this!”
When He chose to not heal my son, leaving us struggling to keep our faith.
My husband grieves differently than I do. And sometimes I can accept that. Sometimes I feel alone, like he doesn’t “get” my pain.
My pain. My storm.
Just like I don’t get YOUR storm, your trial.
And while many of you don’t get my storm, so many of you have shown love and kindness. So many gifts and books, hand made or sent from Amazon. Gifts for my boys. Money. Meals. You often didn’t know what to say, but you loved.
You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?
Psalms 56:8 ESV
(I encourage you to go read that entire Psalm 56.)
In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me? Psalm 56:4
“in God, I trust; I shall not be afraid.”
Is that hard to read? It is for me. I have fears. Yes, present ones. And yes, I know that fear is not from my Lord and Savior.
This verse convicts me. Brings me to a place of knowing “not by my own strength, but God’s.”
There is a word for that place.
Humble. I need to humble myself.
Compared to God, who am I? What have I accomplished on my own strength?
Chaos. The answer is chaos.
What has God accomplished on His strength?
For starters, He created the world. He created you. He created me. The list can go on and on…
There is a popular verse we say in times of trouble and storms.
casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
1 Peter 5:7 ESV
I happened to notice verse 6 this past Sunday when Pastor J referenced the verses.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
1 Peter 5:6-7 ESV
It’s a command.
I am a lover of words and their definitions, so I quickly googled the definition of humble on Sunday when I noticed it.
And again, God asks us to choose. To choose between our accomplishments and our strength or His.
Storms. It’s a part of life. Sometimes those storms are small, no big deal. Sometimes it’s faith shaking, heart breaking storms.
And whether or not we feel adequately prepared or like we are “too good a person” for the storm we face, we face them.
It does not need to be on our strength. Our fear can be that of the disciples at the end of Mark 4.
They went from “WE ARE GOING TO DIE!!!” to “WOW! THE WIND, THE SEA OBEYED HIM!”
They went from “Lord, do You even care?” to “wow!! He made the storm stop.”
Whatever storm you currently face, whatever storm you are loving your friends / family through, know this:
He may not stop the storm. But it doesn’t need to consume and overwhelm your heart and mind.
He cares. He stands there, nail scarred hands outstretched, ready to catch all you need to cast onto Him. You just simply trust him. Lower your level of importance and put your storm and yourself in His beautiful hands.
with love… Rachelle
P.S. email me if you need a safe place to ask questions. firstname.lastname@example.org
I would be honored to hear from you.