Wednesday, July 16, 2014

When the Hurricane Hits

We've all had those moments.
The moments when the hurricane in our lives, hit. At full throttle, the plane, goes straight down.
We can't see a way out, and we can't understand how we got where we are.
When Jesus walked on water, he didn't calm the storm first, he called to Peter through the storm.

Matthew 14:22-33"Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
He spoke: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
Nothing had changed. The storm still raged. The wind still shrieked. The boat still pitched. The thunder still boomed. The rain still slapped. But in the midst of the tumult, I could hear his voice. Although he was still far away, it was like he was by my side. The night was ferocious, yet he spoke as though the sea were placid and the sky silent. And, somehow, courage came. “Lord, if it’s you, . . . tell me to come to you on the water.” The voice was Peter’s. He wasn't being cocky. He wasn't demanding proof. He was scared. Like me, he knew what this storm could do. He knew that the boat would soon go down. He knew that Jesus was standing up. And he knew where he wanted to be . . . where we all wanted to be. “Come on,” Jesus invited. So Peter climbed over the side and stepped onto the sea. Before him opened a trail through a forest of waves. He stepped quickly. Water splashed. But he kept going. This path to Jesus was a ribbon of calm. It was peaceful. Serene.Jesus radiated light at the end of the trail. Smiling.
There are times in a person’s life when, even in the midst of them, you know you’ll never be the same. Moments that forever serve as journey posts. This was one.
In today’s passage, Christ came to the disciples and dealt with their storm.  But if you read the passage closely you discover Jesus didn't act in a way they expected.  Surely when the storm began, the disciples prayed that God would calm the storm, and eventually he did, but not at first.  Jesus first dealt with their chaos by walking with them in the storm.  Yes, Jesus delivered everything the disciples needed to make it through the storm, but he didn't deliver in a way they expected. The same is true when Jesus deals with us in the storms of life.  Jesus will deliver exactly what we need to deal with the storms, but he may not deliver in a way we expect. Instead of calming the storm, he may calm our spirit. Instead of healing our body, he may heal our souls. Instead of giving us more money, he may give us more wisdom. Instead of making us stronger, he may help us learn the value and power of our weakness. Oh, Jesus will supply everything we need, but he may not deliver in ways we expect, because our real need may be something we've never recognized.  Yes, when we are in the midst of our storm, Jesus gives us just what we need.  And what we need most is always the comforting presence of Christ. 
       When we face the storms of life, we may start begging God to calm the storm.  But God may act differently than we expect.  Instead of calming the storm, he might invite us to snuggle up in his presence until the storm is over.  And if God’s presence is with us, he is always enough - enough for us to make it till the end of the storm.
      Yes, he's always enough for the storms of our life.
      He's always enough to bring calm to our strife.
      He's always enough when the darkness descends.
    He's our savior, our pilot, our God and our friend.
  So when your calm turns to chaos and your joy turns to gloom.
    And darkness surrounds you like the walls of a tomb.
  When the storms of your trouble get frighteningly tough,
     Just come to Jesus.  He's always enough.

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