Savior Over The Storm
Life sometimes feels like a series of storms...often one after the other. The winds of chaos, heartbreak and pain often usher in waves of uncertainty, doubt and anxiety, which often cause us to frantically try to hold onto our boats of safety and comfort. One day, it feels like smooth sailing over calm waters: the waves gentle and quiet, the water so clear you can peer into it for miles. We make our plans and with smooth sailing, we cast away full of hope, faith and peace.
But what happens when the storms start rolling in?
What happens when the debt bills pile up more than your income?
What happens when you lose someone you love?
What happens when the grief and emptiness of depression begin to suffocate you?
What happens when you do your best, but somehow your best isn’t good enough for someone else?
Suddenly, the sky darkens as thick clouds of desperation, fear and pain strive to drown out the light of the sun. The ease of sailing fades away as the waters begin to churn and the dark currents sway your boat to and fro. You begin to lose your footing as the boat you’re in rocks side to side, throwing you around like a limp doll. Maybe you look around panicked and paralyzing fear forces you to stop in your tracks? Maybe you keep fighting the storm, determined to get yourself and your crew through safely?
Sometimes, it feels like storms are all we know...as if our good desires, dreams, joy, hope and faith are just fleeting moments caught between the weight and reality of life. But it’s in these moments that we can come face to face with the Savior of our souls. It’s in the darkness of the storm that our faith develops from the words of our Bible to living and breathing words that sustain us.
As I read the story of Jesus walking on water in Matthew 14:22-33, I couldn’t help but remember the moments when the Savior on the cross also became the Savior who walks on water to rescue me.
I hope and pray that the words I write here can encourage and point you to the Savior who reigns above the waves that threaten to drown you.
Storms are inevitable, but Christ is faithful
“Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.”- Matt. 14:22-24
The disciples were probably deeply anxious and overwhelmed with the immensity of the storm they found themselves trapped in. Where was Jesus in this? If I were with them, I would’ve wondered if He had abandoned us completely to save Himself from the incoming trial. If I were with them, I’d be the first to doubt the Lord’s sovereignty over this storm. The disciples probably had to use all their strength, energy and stamina just to stay afloat and try to weather the fury of the storm. Their vision was probably blurred or blinded from the spray of the sea, the dark of night and the pelt of the rain, making it nearly impossible to see their own hands...let alone the path in front of them.
“We do not want you to be uninformed brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death itself. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On Him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers.” -2 Cor. 1:8-11
“As for me, I call to God, and the Lord saves me. Evening, morning and noon, I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice.” -Ps. 55:16-17
In this fallen world, storms are inevitable. Heraclitus, a greek philosopher, once said “The only thing constant is change.” Our life will be marked by the storms we face, but the Lord is still faithful. Jesus had a plan all along for His disciples. He wanted to deepen their faith and trust in Him and His heart towards them. He knew they’d be overwhelmed and uncertain of their safety, yet He still allowed the storm to pass through. He knew He’d redeem the trauma of the storm for both His glory and their good. He knew He’d rescue them all along. He is faithful.
The Lord comes after us
“Shortly, before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. ‘It’s a ghost.’ they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: ‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” -Matt. 14:25-27
“But now, this is what the Lord says- he who created you Jacob, he who formed you Israel: ‘Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” -Isaiah 43:1-3
“The seas have lifted up, Lord, the seas have lifted up their voice; the seas have lifted up their pounding waves. Mightier than the thunder of the great waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea-the Lord on high is mighty.” -Ps. 93:3-4
Before the disciples even cried out for Christ to save them, He was already on His way to rescue them. He set out to prove to them He truly was their redeemer. But the storm blurred their vision, it turned their attention away from their faith and unto the calamity surrounding them. It caused them to forget the majesty, the sustaining and life-saving power that our Lord has. To the disciples, the storm overshadowed the reality of who Christ was to them personally.
How different is it with us? Jesus immediately silenced the lies and calmed their fears by proclaiming who He was. He’s the God who is not afraid of our storms, but who comes after us by walking on the waves that threaten to sink us. No matter how loud the wind roars or the sting of the rain, He still remains Lord over all. The violence of the storm will never shake Him off of His throne. He is the ultimate authority over the chaos.
The Lord will sustain you
“Lord, if it’s you,’ Peter replied, ‘tell me to come to you on the water.’ ‘Come’ Jesus said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me! Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,’ he said, ‘why did you doubt?” -Matt. 14:27-30
“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are-yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” -Heb. 4:14-16
“And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” -Heb. 12:1-2
Jesus is not the “I-told-you-so” God. We are often just like Peter, our doubts and uncertainties about the Lord can cloud the truth of who He is and how He’s revealed Himself throughout our lives. He doesn’t hold our weaknesses or shortcomings against us and never will. He himself knows the burden and strife of the storms we face. He is the only one who can not only sustain us, but enable us to bravely step out of our boat and rise above our circumstances. It’s only when we take our eyes off of Him and place them on the trials we face that we begin to sink under the pressure, the fear, the uncertainty of everything.
His presence changes everything
“And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God.” -Matt. 14:32-33
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” -Phil. 4:4-7
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in you.” -Isaiah 26:3
“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
“The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry...the righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those crushed in spirit. The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all; he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.” -Ps. 34:15, 17-20
True peace comes from the heart and spirit of Christ...not our circumstances or our ability to try and face the storms in our lives. We remain steadfast when our eyes remain on Him alone. He enables us to endure and overcome by the comfort of his presence.
The Lord will never leave you to face the trials alone in your own strength. He himself has gone before you to prepare the way and He himself walks beside you so you can overcome this world.
Sweet sister, if you’re facing a storm that’s too big for you, lean into the Lord heavily. Pour out your heart, your frustrations, your anger and grief. Leave it at the feet of Christ and He himself will be your great peace instead.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Hello Friend! I'm so glad that you are here! My name is Paige: I am a 23 year old native Texan who is currently residing within the beautiful state of Washington. I am an INFP and a deeply introverted and reserved young woman, but I have a passion for loving God and loving others very deeply. I found the Lord in one of the darkest seasons of my life, but because of the grace of Jesus, I encountered a love so deep and merciful that I can't help but share the hope I found in him. I hope the words I write can serve to build you up, encourage and inspire you to seek him daily.