Tuesday, January 3, 2012

What You Can Do in the Storm that Rages in Spite of You

Paul and Larry and I loved to hit the road to Nags Head when the hurricanes were landing. We were college students, single guys, with cars, and time, and more dollars than sense. Nags Head, on North Carolina's Outer Banks, was only a short drive from Norfolk, VA, maybe as far as Duluth from Grand Marais. We'd hear of an impending landfall and off we went, road tripping to meet the storm.

There is only one bridge to and from the barrier islands where Nags Head and Kitty Hawk are located. The sheriff's department usually turned both lanes into one way to the mainland as the storms came in, and closed the bridge entirely once the storm arrived. We had to get to the beach, do our gawking, and leave while the bridge was still open. If we waited too long, we'd be stuck on the island in a hurricane with no where to go.

It was worth the risk back then. There is something incredible and frightening about an advancing hurricane. You can see and feel the power in the wind, the surf, the clouds, the rain. You can see it, feel it, taste it, hear it, and smell it, but you cannot, not even in the least, control it. A storm is something that happens in spite of you. You can run and hide, but you cannot stop its onslaught nor divert its arrival.

Once, Jesus was in a boat with his disciples on the Sea of Galilee when one of the infamous gales that spring up suddenly and violently on that inland ocean overtook their skiff. The fishermen in the group fully realized the danger they were in. The boat was in danger of capsizing as wave after wave crashed over the gunwhales, the wind relentless in its assault. They were helpless before the power of the storm. It raged in spite of them and in spite of their Passenger.

The men baled. They did what they could. Finally, they went to Jesus, who had been sleeping the entire time in the stern of the boat. "Teacher!" they cried, "Do you not care that we are perishing?" They were terrified and more than a little desperate. Jesus woke up, rebuked the wind and said to the sea, "Peace! Be still." And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

Storms blow in spite of us. Life can take ugly turns and suddenly the winds of adversity or trouble overtake us, and there is nothing we can do. Well . . . almost nothing we can do. If you are facing a storm in your life today, you can do what Jesus' companions did. First, you can realize the storm is bigger than you and stop wasting time and energy on paltry efforts that might make you feel better but aren't going to save you.

Second, you can humbly concede that there are some situations that are beyond your control and require a power greater than you possess. Third, you can turn to Christ in faith, even desperate faith, because you know if anyone can save you, he can. Then, tell him what you need. Expect him to do something. Count on the fact that he loves you and because he loves you will act inyour life for the greatest good. You don't have to be calm, just be trusting.

The disciples saw Jesus still the storm, not because they attempted to save themselves, but because they turned to him and asked for his help. They experienced God's peace because they came to the right state of heart to ask Him for it.

Are you in a storm? Trouble raging in spite of you? Not much you can do to make it better? God waits to pronounce his peace in your life. Just turn to him in faith and ask.

That's the Good News.

1 comment:

  1. Jesus uses the storms to show his power in our lives. Good post!