What storm are you in today that keeps you awake most of the time? I don’t think we understand the importance of our storms, and how they work for our good (Romans 8:28). They are truly for our benefit to educate, strengthen and allow our weak selves to be wholly dependent on a strong Father who knows what we can and can’t handle. I’ve been in situations where I thought I’d be able to handle issues, but came to realize that it was not the case; I was weak and needed someone stronger.
When reading the story about Jesus sleeping through the storm, it gets me so excited! How can Jesus sleep through a heavy storm, whilst His disciples are worried trying to find a solution. Why did Jesus remain so calm despite the storm? Because He knew who He was, and He also knew how capable His Father was. So instead of Him allowing the storm to attack Him, He used the strength of His Father to attack the storm. From my own perspective, I see it as Jesus teaching His disciples about the importance of rest and seeking Peace in times of distress and storms. When last did you take rest in your chaos, r were you too busy trying to sort it in your own strength?
To reiterate the scripture is taken in Matthew 8:23-27 which says “Then He got into the boat and his disciples followed Him (24) Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. (25) The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” (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. (27) The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”
This is one of my best scriptures and gives me reassurance that when you place your burdens into God’s hands, you will truly experience His rest. You may have bills to pay or you may be in a huge debt, but when you choose to put God first and trust Him with your issues, He will cause you to be at rest. Be intentional about your freedom and allow Him to take over. When strange thoughts start penetrating my mind, I choose to stay calm because I know once I offer my mind the opportunity of wandering, it will be difficult to get out of that situation. Our minds are so precious that whatever you feed it is what will give itself back to you. As I keep saying, your pain is for a purpose, not just for you alone. We are meant to share what we are facing with others who are also in different seasons.
When last have you been able to rest peacefully in the storm? Ask yourself this question and be sincere about it. A lot of us today wake up tired and sleep tired, worrying about so much that will not add any value to our lives. Learn to cultivate Jesus’ character where He was able to sleep through the storm. In other words, it is about building your Faith levels up so that you won’t give an opportunity for fear to enter. Our lives are transformed by the renewing of our minds, and when we learn this, we won’t give ourselves into fear. Instead, we will rest in His arms knowing that He is in control of every aspect of our lives. I challenge you: CONTINUE TO PRAISE HIM DESPITE THE STORM!
(Only you know what your storm is, but how you deal with it will shape you for the rest of your life)
Truly speaking, the disciples were on the brink of death because the waves were too high and the wind too strong. For this reason, that is why they were so fearful. But let us be real if you were in that situation where there was no exit, you were in a boat, the water gradually getting steeper and steeper, an element of fear would start. The reason for their fear was that the assessment of their situation was based on logic and not faith and that was the problem! When we face difficult circumstances such as the loss of a job, the death of a child, or a terminal disease, rational and false assumptions can produce fear because our minds are naturally set to discouragement when we encounter a problem. It is not human logic to smile when a wave is about to take your life; no, your first reaction would be how to get yourself out of that situation.
From this, we learn that our situations tell us that the way out of fear is to stop relying on our limited senses and limited thinking and start turning to the One who knows how to calm the storm. To back this up, let’s focus on Isaiah 55:8-9: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts”. This is my reassuring spot, to understand that my thinking is certainly not His thinking and that I don’t need to worry about anything.
The issues we encounter today is a lesson that we use towards our future, that when we were in distress, God rescued us, and now when we encounter more tribulations, we use our past as a lesson and reflect on how God delivered us then, and how He will do it now and for the future. Learn to rest in the storms of life, don’t allow your situation to take over your thought life. Be intentional about what you feed your mind with, and learn to see beauty in every aspect of pain because pain teaches us greater lessons and is good experience to grow maturely.
The disciples had no guarantee that they would survive the storm, BUT they could be absolutely sure that God controlled the storm and controlled their lives. They could be absolutely sure that as fierce as the storm raged, God’s love for them raged even more fiercely. No storm could ever blow them out of God’s mighty hand. Whether they lived or died, God’s will remains perfect; and in that they could find peace instead of fear.
I know I tend to feel somehow obligated to be stressed or afraid when I do not know the end of a particular situation. It seems almost irresponsible to let it go and trust God. But when I remember that I am COMMANDED to live free of fear, it is much easier to reach out to God in faith and have rest within the storm.”