Greetings in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The LORD himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” (Exodus 14:14)
Now is a season for Hurricanes, Cyclones, and Typhoons. Almost every day these extremely strong winds developed in the tropical region are sweeping through the world. The hot water in the tropical region energize the air in the region, and it is turned into a tropical wind. Although it is small when it is born, but it quickly grows as moving out of the tropical region, and it is intensified as moving to north. It is customarily accompanied by heavy rains that carries an additional destructive power. Often it reaches to a level unimaginable that only the nature can bring. Before such a strong storm, nothing can stand. Either blown away by an incredibly intensified wind or submerged into a raising water caused by a frighteningly heavy rain. We all experience such a powerful tropical storm. Then we realize how small we are before the huge power of the storm. We have nothing but waiting for a storm to pass safely without causing huge property damages and human loss. We usually give an adorable name to Hurricane, Cyclone, or Typhoon, while wishing a given storm becoming a benign storm instead of a monstrous one. In short, no matter what we do, annually tropical storms come like clockwork, and sweep through nations, communities and peoples. Such storms are a part of the nature, which we cannot selectively eliminate from the nature.
As talked about above, tropical storms visit us annually whether we welcome or not. Our life storms are not much different. They come into our lives whether we like or not. In other words, nobody is free from life storms. They will find us sooner or later. Like tropical storms, they come in various sizes and strengths. Some even reaches a deadliest level and complete sweeps away all things in its way. When our life storm hits hard, although we hold tight what we love, it mercilessly takes away what we love cold-heartily. Sometimes, we lose our loved ones, and also have to powerlessly witness our houses, jobs, and hopes being destroyed. Sorrows find us, and tears become our daily food.
Surely, nobody wants life storms, but they are unavoidable. They surely find ways to our lives. After one life storm passes away, another comes although we don’t want to see again. They usually come and find us when we completely forget them. Then sleepless nights again stay with us. Once it comes into our life, it stays with us long. Although we are yearning for the passing of the storm, there is no sign of ending of the life storm. A sheer destructive force pounds on every part of our lives. We really badly want for its departure, but it is really stubborn. We often see. Instead it adds its own strength as if it tests our limit of endurance. Eventually, our life pain reaches to the level that we cannot endure anymore. Then like the sailors who threw ship’s gears overboard by themselves after a long struggle in a monstrous storm, one by one we throw hope and love overboard into the stormy water. When looking back, drifting through a life storm was an excruciating pain that we never want to taste again forever. However, life storms always find way to us like Hurricanes, Cyclones, or Typhoons. This is a fact of life.
I am frequently told by many around me that their dream is to physically see Jesus, touch His mighty hands and talk with Him while looking at His loving eyes. I don’t blame their desire of physically being with Jesus in this world. After all, Jesus is our savior for all on earth as well as in Heaven. And this world is full of sorrows, pains and disappointments caused by life storms. Our humanly desire is to completely take away all life storms with the power of Jesus so that we can always enjoy sunny days with Jesus for the rest of our lives on earth. Is the above wish biblical?
Let’s find out the answer from the Bible. We all know Jesus’ twelve disciples. It is a sure statement that there are no other group of people closer to Jesus than the twelve disciples. They were always physically with Jesus. Thus, they could physically see Jesus and actually touch Jesus’ mighty and merciful hands. Every day, they heard Jesus’ loving message and His gracious teaching. They could fix their eyes on Jesus, who dearly loved them. What a blessing to them!
Jesus was always busy of teaching, loving and caring for those who were flocking around Him. One day, Jesus saw the crowd. He blessed them and revealed the truth of the kingdom of Heaven.
Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:3-10)
That evening many demon-possessed people were brought to Jesus. He cast out the evil spirits with a simple command, and he healed all the sick.
This fulfilled the word of the Lord through the prophet Isaiah, who said,
“He took our sicknesses
and removed our diseases.” (Matthew 8:17)
Yes, Jesus is the true Lord, who fulfilled the prophesy of the prophet Isaiah. The twelve disciples were truly blessed. They physically saw the fulfillment of the prophesy foretold by the prophet Isaiah. How long did the people of Israel have to wait for that moment? The answer is seven hundred years. Seven hundred years later, the twelve disciples could eye-witness Jesus Christ, Our Lord, who healed the sick and removed diseases. The moment was what many believers wanted to see. Again, the twelve disciples were truly blessed.
After healing the sick, Jesus got into the boat and started across the Sea of Galilee with His disciples. The sea was calm and the boat was gliding through the glassy sea. Everything was good. They looked each other while slicing through the wind blowing over their faces. Their hairs felt a light breeze passing by. It was a truly pleasant day. All of the disciples were so happy while enjoying the smooth sailing. So far, everything was truly good, and they expected the same for the rest of the sailing to the other side of the sea.
Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the sea. Nobody expected a storm. It was an unusually strong storm, and it hit hard the boat. The whole boat was shaken, and nobody could stand still any more. Suddenly, all tossed around in the boat. Most of the twelve disciples were ex-fishermen who grew up in the region and fished in the sea since they were young. Thus, they knew the region of the sea very well, and dealt with many storms before. However, the particular storm was different. It was not like any of the storms previously encountered. It was so fierce that even the experienced ex-fishermen made fearful. Waves were also breaking into the boat. The boat started being filled with water, which caused them even more fearful. The experienced ex-fishermen started screaming in terror.
In a very short moment, the situation was completely changed. The peaceful sea suddenly turned into a terrifying place. The twelve disciples became terrified although Jesus was always with the disciples. In fact, Jesus was with them before getting into the boat, while smoothly sailing on the glassy sea, and in the fierce storm. Even so, the twelve disciples were completely exhausted because they alone fought against the fierce storm that nullified all of their past experiences and expertise. And Jesus was physically with them in the boat, but the fierce storm came and hit hard the boat.
The twelve disciples tried everything that they could. Nothing worked. The fierce storm was getting stronger. All of their efforts made a negligible impact. Thus, the situation was actually getting worse. Waves were breaking into the boat, and the boat was starting to sink. The situation was completely out of control. The more they tried; the more water got in to the boat. It was a dire situation. Their lives were in danger.
Suddenly, one of the twelve shouted through the roaring wind noise of the storm, “We need Jesus.” All finally realized what they were doing. They alone fought against the fierce storm, although by that time, they clearly knew that they could not do anything on the storm. The storm was clearly bigger than them. The storm practically dwarfed all of their past experiences and skills, of which they were always proud.
Then all looked around to find Jesus. Soon they realized that Jesus was not a part of them. They alone fought against the fierce storm. What a bummer! Then they quickly searched out for Jesus in the boat, and they found Jesus sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. (I believe it was only possible to Jesus. Laying down and sleeping in a huge storm is impossible. A whole body is literally tossed up and down like a kid jumping on a trampoline because of huge waves.)
The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” (Mark 4:38)
Was Jesus really sleeping without caring for the twelve disciples in terror of the sinking boat in the fierce storm? No, it was not. Jesus was patiently waiting for His disciples. Our Lord was really patient. He waited and waited till His disciples’ returning after completely exhausting all means that they had. The disciples truly realized that what they had (experiences, skills, talents, etc) was completely useless before the storm, and they were mere helpless passengers in the boat beaten by the storm. The boat was also slowly sinking. They had no other means but watching the boat slowly going down deep into the sea.
When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” (Mark 4:39a)
Jesus quickly responded to the cry of His beloved disciples, and rebuked the wind. Yes, Jesus talked to the wind and the waves as if He were talking to a person. Upon hearing Jesus’ command, “Silence! Be still!”
the wind stopped and there was a great calm. (Mark 4:39b)
This is the power of Jesus Christ, who can calm any kinds of storms – large or small, fierce or not. Jesus is the master of the universe. He talks and the universe obeys. Can we image how secure we are when we completely lean on Jesus? All things being created by Jesus, and all things obey Jesus. Thus, we cannot stop praising Jesus. Praise Him, and give all glory to Jesus! Because He is worthy of our highest praises.
“Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” (Mark 4:40b)
What’s the first question of Jesus after calming the stormy sea? “Why are you afraid?” Jesus did not ask what the disciples were in fear about, but why the disciples were in fear. The source of fear was, in fact, the disciples’ hearts. We all know that Jesus Christ is the master of the universe, and the fierce storm is subject to Jesus Christ. Nothing is greater or more powerful than Jesus because all were created through Jesus Christ (John 1:3). The disciples were in fear because they only focused on themselves. They should have fixed eyes on Jesus and trusted Him. In fact, they did not fix on eyes on Jesus in the fierce storm. When they met the fierce storm, they relied on their own strength.
By the way, where was Jesus when the disciples struggled in the storm? Indeed, Jesus was also in the same boat, but He was not called for help. Thus, He was sleeping at the rear end of the boat. Only when the disciples completely gave up their own strength, their eyes could see Jesus who was in the same boat!
How about us? Life storms will surely find us like Hurricanes, Cyclones, and Typhoons. Then should we try everything till we exhaust all means and become helpless? Or should we immediately come to Jesus and lay out all our heartaches and pains?
Finally, one thing that we are sure about is that our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ is always waiting us with wide open arms to embrace us with His Unfathomable Love that was clearly and plainly manifested on the cross. Then, what can we say? Come. Come to Jesus. Our Lord, Jesus who is love.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)