One day he got into a boat with his disciples, and he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side of the lake.” So they put out, and while they were sailing he fell asleep. A windstorm swept down on the lake, and the boat was filling with water, and they were in danger. They went to him and woke him up, shouting, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And he woke up and rebuked the wind and the raging waves; they ceased, and there was a calm. He said to them, “Where is your faith?” They were afraid and amazed, and said to one another, “Who then is this, that he commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him?”
Luke 8:22-25 NRSV
The experience of life is precious, because life is divine, created by God’s hands and called good. Yet, at times life can be filled with storms that come out of nowhere, and sometimes one may never know when these storms will go away. In gospel text from Luke, we can read how the disciples experienced a storm while traveling with Jesus. The disciples were in danger, because of the waves that were crashing down on them, filling their boat with water. They were afraid because they thought they were perishing. This moment in the disciple’s life probably did not seem divine. Even when Jesus was traveling with them, the disciples felt that their lives were threatened by the storm they were experiencing. They didn’t know when the storm was going to subside, yet, in the midst of their storm, Jesus comes to bring great calm.
One can wonder if Jesus can stop the storms that we experience in life, or will there be a time in life that we will not have to experience storms. Yet, when I travel down this road, I am reminded of a plaque that hangs in my home. This plaque says, “God did not promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, nor sun without rain. But he did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way.” I love this sign, because it reminds me that God promises to be with us always, even through the toughest storms of life, which can bring me great calm.
When we go through the storms of life, it is natural to wonder when they will come to an end. Yet, one thing about storms is they can bring the needed resources to calm the situation at hand. Sometimes storms clarify the things that really matter to us, and help us understand the things that might be important for us. Sometimes storms, can remove the things that are blocking the sun out, so something beautiful can grow after the storm is over. Sometimes storms help to clear a space for Jesus to come and be present with us in moments of unrest, difficulty, and sorrow.
The most difficult storms can be when we are unsure of what each day will bring. We can ask, “Will we see another storm, or will this storm be our last?” Jesus’ answer can come in this way, “No matter the storm, have faith, and know that I am with you.” We may never know the purpose of the storms that we witness in life, but we can know that Jesus is with us always, leading us to a place of great calm. Yet, sometimes Jesus comes to us through friends, family, scripture, worship, and prayer. We can find great calm from the storms of life through these avenues, all we need is some faith.
-Steve Bogie Pastor