The afternoon has turned grey and dark. We are currently camping by the ocean and I can hear the distant thunder building in the hills of the hinterland. Storms are a common occurrence as the weather heats up here in South East Queensland.
In summers past we’ve had storms blow through hitting hard and fast and catching us by surprise, but they disappear just as quickly. Others have been prolonged but not that impressive, bringing good soaking rain that wakes up the hardened ground to bring forth new and luscious growth. Occasionally we see the darkly threatening clouds and hear the menacing rumbles, but it’s simply a dry lightning and sound show which harmlessly passes over.
Then there are the storms which are colour coded black on the weather radar. We have experienced massive storms like these many times. Last year the “largest hail” record was broken when 14 cm jagged hail smashed through tiles and plaster ceilings onto living room floors in one area of Brisbane! Our suburb also had huge hail, but we escaped with hail damaged cars and smashed windows.These electrical storms build ominously, and erupt in an awesome display of cracking lightning and house-shaking thunder, with rain, wind and yes, sometimes hail. These kinds of storms are fearful, the kind that substantiate the “seek shelter now!” alert.
Looking over the ocean I’m reminded what it must have been like for the disciples when they encountered that fearful “seek shelter now” variety of storm on the Sea of Galilee. I can’t think of a worse place to be than on an exposed little fishing boat surrounded by water. Although the Sea of Galilee is actually a massive lake, the wind whips over the eastern mountains causing storms to drop onto the low lying sea violently and abruptly.
After rebuking the storm Jesus says to them: “Where is your faith?” In the gospels of Matthew and Mark it is worded “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” and “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?“
The point is, Jesus was not condemning their lack of faith, and neither does He condemn us. But rather He was marveling that their faith could be so misplaced! How often I hear Jesus ask me “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” That question is actually one of grace. By asking it, Jesus reminds me that I’m loved, and He is with me, even when the waves are crashing over my boat. To focus on Him rather than the storm.
If I fear the storm, my faith is in its power.Marivah, in A.D. 30 by Ted Dekker
Read that quote again. Slowly. Then replace the word “storm” with any storm of life.
“If I fear the ________, my faith is in its power.”
The more I ponder this, the more I realise that fear is misplaced faith. It’s faith in the power of what I’m facing, rather than faith in God who is with me whatever I face.
Misplaced faith forgets that what God has spoken will come to pass (“Let us cross over to the other side of the lake.“)
Misplaced faith forgets that God’s power is bigger than the storm (“Master, we are perishing!“)
Misplaced faith forgets that God always has a purpose. (Read the rest of the story! Luke 8:26-39)
God’s Word stands true, He is with us in the storm, and His purpose will prevail!
For those who are in a storm right now, or facing an approaching storm, remember that ALL storms have this one thing in common.
Or perhaps you’re blessed with smooth seas right now…if so enjoy!
In the storms and when the seas are smooth God is always in our boat!