I love the beach. Any season, any weather. I’ve always loved it, but as I’ve aged, that love has become more intense, more real. And few things speak to my heart the things of God as does the ocean.
Today, I was enjoying some “me and Jesus” time. I went on the beach for a nice, long prayer walk…and walked the distance of about three hotels because I was freezing! So me and Jesus went indoors to the heated pools and hot tub! But…there are windows, so I can see the ocean. Close enough.
As I was soaking in the hot tub, I had briefly taken my attention away from outside. After a few minutes, I looked up and noticed big, fat raindrops splashing on the pool deck. The wind was blowing like crazy and the sky had gotten so dark, you could barely see where the ocean ends and the sky begins. The whitecaps spoke to how rough the ocean is today. And, even in the midst of a storm, I pondered how beautiful it was.
It makes me think of those times in our life when we’re battling storms. The waves feel as if they’ll overtake us at any moment, the winds buffet us, and we can’t see where the storm ends…it all becomes a blur. The emotions that come can feels as tumultuous as that angry see I was watching today. Fear, hopelessness, anger, doubt, frustration only add to the exhaustion of simply dealing with the storm.
Life is hard. I’ve said it so many times and it’s never been more real to me than it is at this second as I look around at my friends who are fighting storms of their own. Yet, despite we mustn’t lose hope. We can’t lose sight of the one Who can still our storm – or strengthen us to withstand the storm.
In Mark 4:35-41, we see the disciples battling a storm. Their ship was being tossed to and fro, the waves were crashing over the sides and the wind was blowing. They were scared! Where was Jesus? Asleep. They woke him up and asked him, if he didn’t care they they were going to drown. The NASB says it this way, “Jesus Himself 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?'” (v. 38). How did Jesus respond to that? “He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.” (v. 39). But then He quickly turned His attention to His disciples and chastised them for their lack of faith. I think it’s very interesting to note here that Jesus had just been teaching the multitude…on faith.
Oh my goodness! I must confess, I’ve uttered words that sound hauntingly similar to what the disciples said! I’ve questioned His care for me, His love, His intentions. Yet, in His goodness, He’s answered me. He’s shown Himself mighty and good and kind and loving in my life over and over.
So. How’s your weather? Is it sunny and beautiful? Can you see the separation of the water and sky? Or is it storming where you are? Has the sky gotten so dark and the water so turbulent that you no longer know which way is up? Have faith. Even the psalmist knew these times would come. Psalm 107:29 says, “He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed.” (NIV). God can still your waves too. And I trust that He will. We simply need to call His name.
Be blessed and tell someone you love them!
By the way, the account of Jesus calming the storm is in Mark 4:35-41, Luke 8:22-25 and Matthew 8:23-27. I invite you to read those accounts for yourself and let God speak to your heart.