Last night, we had a series of storms come through our little mountain valley. There were flash flood warnings and tornado watches. The wind whipped and howled through our tall oak trees. The rain beat against the windows. And a few toys blew around in the yard. It was a typical late summer storm. This morning, there was no real damage visible. A few downed branches and lots of debris on the road was it.
Spring of 2011, we had a different kind of storm. An F-2 or 3, there is still some debate, drove through an area lake community and dissipated less than a mile south of our home. The middle school science teacher, who runs our on-campus weather station, later told me that if the funnel cloud had not broken apart our home was the one house on campus he was genuinely worried about. He felt certain we would be hit. We had spent that night in a walk-in closet with our boys asleep on pillows. The morning after, there was massive damage. Houses were destroyed, lives were lost, and families were broken.
There are others storms that invade our lives almost as suddenly as a thunderstorm or a tornado. They are the storms of a lost job, relocation, finances, foreclosure, bankruptcy, finding happiness, marital instability, the illness of child, cancer, a death in the family, and more. These storms can also leave a path of destruction, take lives, and break families.
Storms, whether in nature or in life, have a lot in common. Sometimes we hear or see the warning signs and are able to prepare; other times, we are not. Sometimes we find comfort in the information provided to us; other times, we are forced to face uncomfortable and painful realities. Sometimes we realize after a storm that the damage isn’t as bad as we anticipated or feared; other times, we can’t fathom the true repercussions the storm will have in our lives and those around us.
The thing about storms though is that, whether in nature or in life, we have help. I am reminded of Mark 4:35-41. Jesus and his disciples head off in boat and a storm suddenly comes upon them. Jesus is sleeping. The disciples wake him. Jesus says two very striking things: “Quiet! Be still!” and “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” From this narrative, I draw three important pieces of hope that I share with you now.
- First, Jesus is always there. All we need to do is ask Him engage our storm through prayer and He will.
- Second, He has the ability to calm the storm. If we ask, He will calm it.
- And third, we need not fear if we have faith in Him. He was faithful in keeping His promise to God and becoming a living sacrifice for us. All we need do it believe in Him.
Whatever storm you are facing today,
this week, this month, or this year,
remember Jesus is waiting for you to ask for His help!