And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling.But he 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?”
Mark 4:37-38 ESV
It is interesting that in generations past no one thought much about what to call a particular storm. But in 1953, the National Hurricane Center figured out that naming a storm got people’s attention. Since the point of their forecasting was to help folks prepare, they decided that naming was a pretty important thing! The same is true for our spiritual storms. One thing I have learned as I have gotten older is that we rarely face the same storm twice. Circumstances I faced as a twenty-five-year-old with toddlers running around our apartment were certainly different from waiting up late nights waiting for them to come home when they were teenagers. Today our children have children of their own who are teenagers and we lay awake some nights praying for them. Someone once said, “The more things change, the more they remain the same.” But the real truth of the matter is that our storms really do change both in kind as well as ferocity and the only thing that remains the same is Jesus. Even though it may seem that He is asleep while we are going through life threatening circumstances, the truth is that He knows what we are going through and He is ready to come and help when we cry out to Him. No matter what our storm is named today, we are never forgotten, or abandoned. Jesus gave His life on the cross as the sky darkened and the earth shook beneath His feet. But as the blood flowed down the timbers, from the nails that pierced His hands and feet, Jesus cried out, “It is finished!” The cross has finished everything we need to deliver us from our storm, to still our seas and to calm the trouble around us. No matter what our storm’s name we can know that He loves us, He cares about our problems He is showing us new ways to trust Him, no matter what name of the hurricane that lies ahead!
Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by.
Psalm 57:1 ESV
In the treetop Hawk sits silently
While the thunder crashes round
And the Sparrows flit into the barn
Where the Chickens huddle down
The Cranes stand in the rushes
In her house the Blue Bird sleeps
While the Chickadees are twittering
In the thickets dark and deep
But Eagles fly up to their nests
When their children cry
And shelter them with wings so strong
While raindrops start to fly
Can you and I do less than birds
Who know the place to hide
And fly to God our refuge
When the storm is passing by
The Storm is Passing by - by Peter Caligiuri copyright 2021 all rights reserved
Last night an angel of the God whose I am and whom I serve stood beside me and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’ Acts 27:23-24 ESV
When we were kids, my sister and I often argued loudly in the backseat of the car. We wouldn’t stop until our mom turned around and yelled, “Quiet! I can’t even hear myself think!” Today’s verse comes after a fourteen-day storm in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. After being battered for weeks by the waves, Paul and the sailors probably felt a lot like our mother!
One of the greatest difficulties during storms is our inability to think or sometimes even communicate with others. But no matter what our circumstances we can continue to pray. When it seems most difficult, we need to remind ourselves that God sends His message at midnight. In fact, He not only sent a message to Saint Paul in the storm at mid-night, but He chose many other times in the Bible to do the same for others. Remember, it was midnight when angels appeared to the shepherds. It was midnight when Jesus came walking out on the water and at midnight God will also send His message to us. At the darkest moment, when we are least expecting God will come and stand by our side and say, “Don’t be afraid.” What are you facing today? Is it midnight in your storm? It is not too late! In fact, midnight is the perfect time for Jesus to send His message that He will sail with us till we are home and anchored safely by the shore!
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