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What a storm! | Jodie Christinat

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What a storm!

Have you ever been in a really cool storm?  You see the clouds rolling in, it starts to get really dark, people are running to get inside, the lightening starts flashing across the sky, the thunder starts cracking sometimes ever so close, it’s pouring down with rain and yet you are safe inside LOVING the show that’s unfolding!  Yeah it totally sucks if you’re the one stuck in traffic or you were the group enjoying an outdoor picnic…!!

I actually love storms, there’s something so incredible about them, they show me the power of our Creator!  I love it when people get all excited, “what a storm!”, “Did you see that storm rolling in, so amazing!!”  The excitement and energy is very cool!

I was thinking today that maybe we need to get a bit more excited (I know – weirdo!!) about some of the circumstantial storms that we face…also allowing them to remind us of the power of our Creator and the fact that He is Mighty to Save, that His arm is not so short to save me and that He inclines His ear to hear my voice when I call out to Him…just a thought.  Here’s some other thoughts I had about storms today as I read His word…

Mark 4v35 – 41

Jesus said to his disciples,Let us go over to the other side.”  Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat.  There were also other boats with him.

A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped.  Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion.  The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”

He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!”  Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

Let’s go over to the other side.” – sometimes we get very comfortable exactly where we are, but the incredible thing about God is that He loves us too much to leave us where we are.  He wants us to ‘cross over to the other side’, to go to the next level, to go to the next place that He has for us.  Constantly growing us, shaping us, moulding us and causing us to be more like His Son, Jesus.

At times though, to ‘get to the other side’, to go to that next place in our lives, there is a storm to be weathered, a battle to fight and win, a victory to be obtained, things can get pretty uncomfortable as we journey to places God wants to take us.  It was Jesus’ suggestion that they go to the other side – He knew that on the other side of that lake was a demon-possessed man who desperately needed a miracle and so He was prepared to go.  Maybe He even knew that a storm would arise, but His eyes weren’t on the circumstances around Him, He was completely at peace with the Fatherhood and Sovereignty of God in His life and He had an understanding of the authority He carried AND that this wasn’t just about Him and His disciples and their comfortable lives, He had an assignment to fulfil – He was on task!  I wonder who is on the other side of your storm?

They left the crowd behind‘.  The crowd were well-meaning, they loved Jesus and wanted to be with Him, but not everyone will or can go where you are going.  Sometimes even the most well-meaning people in your life will be those encouraging you to ‘turn around and go back, this storm is too much for you’, ‘just do the best you can in the midst of this storm, hopefully it will pass’, ‘just hide under the blankets and pretend it’s not happening’… We need to leave the ‘crowd’ behind, decide who’s voice we are going to listen to and also who we are taking in that boat with us.  When that storm comes you don’t want a crowd, you want friends who will help you wake up Jesus!!

There were also other boats with him.’  If there were other boats with them then they would also have been caught in that storm. The disciples (although challenged about their faith), were smart enough to wake up Jesus!  They could have kept fighting on their own, doing everything in their power to save that boat, but who knows what devastation could have been suffered and how many other boats might have been lost.  Imagine getting to the other side and the shouts to each other of ‘how was that storm, it was crazy!’, ‘yeah you should’ve seen it when Jesus spoke, it was awesome!’ ‘Is that what happened, tell us more, we wondered where that storm disappeared to!’  Our storms are never just about us, there are others who will watch how we handle our storm and our life will be an incredible testimony for them, there are people who we can help while in the middle of the storm, things that we will learn on the journey to encourage others with and there are people who will hear the story of our storm and how we weathered it and saw Jesus do a miracle in it, for years to come.

Sometimes I think we want that “immediate” answer that we read about in this passage, but the thing is, often the miracle is actually one that takes time, it’s about the Holy Spirit being allowed to do a COMPLETE work in us, it’s not just the physical healing that we want – He wants to do a thorough emotional healing, it’s not just the financial provision that we want – He wants to teach us how to be good stewards with the little so we can learn how to cope with the big.  There are so many miracles that happen every day in our lives and yet often we are too distracted to even recognise them.  There are so many things to be thankful for every single day but we are too disillusioned with the fact that He hasn’t done ‘that thing we asked of Him’ that we instead start to wander away and let our hearts get distant, when all He’s asking is that we keep Him close in our boat and daily ‘wake Him up’ to grow in our knowledge of who He is and how GOOD He is!

There’s a Bethel song that says “In the chaos of the storm, I have drifted far, far away.  But I call out your name and you are just a breath, a breath away.” (I Can Feel You, from the album Tides Live)

I don’t know what kind of storm you are facing, or will face, or how far you have drifted, one thing I do know is that this life is completely unpredictable and that we don’t always get to choose the circumstances that come our way, but we can absolutely choose WHO is in our boat, and whether we will fight in our own strength and energy and might, or, whether we will wake up Jesus – through prayer, relationship, daily walking with Him, continuing to speak with authority over the storm until we see the wind die down and the waves stop, allowing His peace to surpass our understanding of the situation and to guard our hearts and our minds – when those thoughts try to creep in to tell us He’s sleeping again, that He doesn’t really care – speak out loud the truth of His word and let His peace be like a mighty guard over your mind.

I know you are tired, I know you are sick of fighting, but today be encouraged that it’s not your battle – it’s His – and He’s already won – give it to Him again today (and tomorrow, and the next day, and for as long as this storm lasts) and let His presence flood your mind, body, emotions and give you strength that only He can bring.  That is my prayer over you today.

Look that storm in the eye and say “yeah, what a storm, bring it on baby cos I’ve got Jesus in my boat!”  You’ve got this, cos He’s got you!

J. xx


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