Our family went on vacation to the beach a few weeks back. On about the 2nd or 3rd day of the trip, my husband took our boys to the pool while I stayed in the room with our youngest. I was just drifting off to sleep when all of sudden I heard crying out in the hall and our door burst open with the boys crying and screaming. I couldn’t even understand what they were saying, they were so upset. I thought someone had gotten hurt. A severe thunderstorm had come up outside with no warning. My husband said the wind was so strong it was moving chairs and throwing umbrellas all over the pool. It was chaos as everyone started running inside. He said at one point, a strong gust of wind had blown so hard that it was blowing our youngest son back so that he couldn’t even walk. A moment of complete terror for him, because he was no longer in control of his body. He couldn’t move. (Storms always seem worse to children than they do adults, but James said it was a bad storm.) Anyway, by the time they got back they were both terrified and shaking, and completely inconsolable. They were so scared they just wanted to go home, RIGHT THEN. After a few minutes of not being able to comfort them, I suggested that we read the Bible. So I turned to the story in Mark 4. My thought was to calm them, but instead *I* was the one who was calmed. As I began to read and explain the situation with them, it was as if God was using my own words to them to speak to me.
Mark 4:35-41: And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side. And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?
The disciples were terrified. They thought they were going to die. And they thought the Master didn’t even care. How scary. To be in the worst storm of your life, thinking your boat is going to sink and the Lord doesn’t care anything about it. He was sleeping after all. But did they have to be scared? I mean He was on board their ship. He created the wind and the waves. And He was so at peace that He was sleeping. He had already told them they were going to the other side. All they had to do was rest in that promise. But that gets a little difficult sometimes when you can barely hear your own thoughts above the howling winds.
-Don’t you care, Lord?-
Not “Didn’t you know this was coming?” – They didn’t question his knowledge of the storm.
Not, “Why did this happen?” – They didn’t question his reasons for the storm.
Not, “Can you calm it?” – They didn’t question his power to calm the storm.
“Carest thou not?” – They questioned his love for them.
In their moment of fear, they forgot how much God loved them. So much so, that they thought He didn’t even care.
How different would our storms look if we never lost sight of the fact that God loved us enough to die for us.? The storm, no matter how big or rough or long, is nothing compared to God’s love.
Every time I asked the kids a question or explained why they shouldn’t be scared, God was speaking the same thing to my heart. The same power that calmed the storm, lives in my heart. That same God that was aboard that ship, is in my vessel. And even as He was speaking I wanted to say, “But Lord it’s still scary!! The storm is still raging. Are you really there?” And then it hit me. I wanted so much to help my children not be afraid, I wanted to calm their fears. I had the answer in God’s word. Were they really listening to me? How much more does God want to do the same for me? And so God asks me the question, “Faith, why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith? You know I care, you know I love you. Look at Calvary.”
My storms are not the same as yours. They may not be as scary or as painful. I may handle them differently. But to a person in the storm, all that matters is that it is a storm. But whatever the situation, God is in control of it all. He longs to comfort us, he desires to give us His sweet peace. You know, we read over Bible stories so many times that we know them by heart. But when God speaks to your heart about a certain passage of scripture, it becomes special to you. Because HE spoke. It wasn’t just words on a page. I’m so thankful that He still speaks peace, even when I’m tempted to think He doesn’t care.
Sometimes during a storm, we know God saw it coming. We might not understand why, but we know He has a plan. We even know nothing is impossible with God. We know all the right things. We just forget how much He loves us. How much He cares for us. Can I remind you today just how much He cares? He met our greatest need out of His great love for us – the salvation of our souls.
Does Jesus care when my heart is pained
Too deeply for mirth or song,
As the burdens press,
And the cares distress,
And the way grows weary and long?
O yes, He cares, I know He cares,
His heart is touched with my grief;
When the days are weary,
The long night dreary,
I know my Savior cares.
Not long after we finished reading and praying, we looked out the window. And you know what? The sun was shining. The waves in the distance were still. The wind was calm. Everything had returned to normal, after being in chaos just moments before. And God can do that for you. For me. If we will just listen to His voice. It’s there in the darkness. It can be heard over the wind. His voice doesn’t waver, even though the ship is tossed. It’s steady. It’s calm. It speaks peace.