Matthew 8:26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.
A menacing dark cloud rolled over quickly. The sudden winds blew large portions of bark off the gumtrees. Bolts of lightning, pearls of thunder cracked with power. I ran to the cover of the horse shed in my sloppy fitting gum boots. Tin roof and wooden rafters were the only thing between me and the pelting storm. Where I grew up, in Australia, storms hit many afternoons around 3pm in the summertime. I always hid just out of the reach of the splash back, in awe as I kept safe from danger. The storms witnessed of a God who was mighty and all-powerful. I feared not to test Him by walking out in it.
As I became a Christian, I identified temptation as a new kind of storm. One that raged on the inside, threatening to take me down.
Like the thunderstorms of my childhood, I sometimes inched closer to danger, as I let sinful thoughts linger. Yet fear of the Lord and His wrath were always stronger, deterring me from ever acting. What a blessing! Though now fear of the Lord has morphed into relationship. Desire to please the Lord trumps the desperate attempts to remain faithful. Of course, thinking sinful thoughts is sin. (Matthew 5:27-28) Since finding that verse as a youth, it troubles me when harmful thoughts linger. In Romans 7:8 Paul explains how knowledge of the law awakes the desire of our flesh to test the boundaries.
In today’s verse, Lord Jesus’ rebuke is firm and comforting. He owns the storm. It must listen to Him.
The storm cannot have us, for we belong to Christ our Lord.
How beautiful the ambulance when the storm clears. Fleeing rain clouds are deep blue, highlighted by the afternoon sun. The grass and trees seem defined with vibrant colors in a different glow.
What a great visual for the storms of life. Lessons learned are fresh on our mind. We have brand new perspective and appreciation for what God is doing. Drawing closer to our Refuge, Jesus, during the storm nurtures that relationship even more. Strength comes from being at a place of such weakness. There, we learn to fully rely on the Lord’s power, and not our own.
When the clouds clear we recognize He answered us, as I called upon his Name. In the coming days we see the benefits of God pouring out His Spirit. Faith arrises like freshly quenched grass.
What storm are you facing? Do you appreciate the beauty of the clearing storm? If it’s been a while, one is bound to come. Let’s have faith and fear not. I love a good rain storm. Thanks be to God, we can learn to I face trials like that, full of trust and all in what God is doing.
Holy Spirit of God, fill me and calm the storm that pummels my heart. Have mercy on Your servant and rebuke it. When You allow the storm to rage on, I know You are teaching me endurance and hope. You grow in me a fire of burning passion to be reunited with You in Heaven. ~Amen.
For more on weathering the storms in life, see Strong Roots.