Life is full of storms. Sometimes it can feel like you’ve made it through one storm — and you walk right into the next. When will things let up? you wonder. The wind continues to blow. The waves continue to beat you. You get tired and discouraged and sometimes you even get angry.
It’s often in these moments where I whisper an exasperated prayer to Jesus, “Can You just give me a break?”
You begin to wonder if you can take one more thing or if you are going to be crushed under the weight of all the circumstances around you: the endless stream of bills and unexpected financial strains … health scares and the death of those you love … the unfruitful job search and the schedule that never seems to let up ….
I’ll admit that lately my eyes have been focused on the waves and not on Jesus. Fear and anxiety have been heavy on my back — the weight of difficult and often painful things going on in my life. It has felt as though I were being repeatedly punched in the gut and I was ready to tap out. Just let me stay in bed with my ice cream and reruns of Friends, thank you very much!
Then, recently, in an attempt to forget my worries for a bit, I picked up Judah Smith’s book Life Is _____: God’s Illogical Love Will Change Your Existence from my nightstand and read these words:
Storms happen. I can’t promise that you won’t get wet. I can’t promise that you won’t go through tough times. But I can promise that Jesus is bigger than your storm and that He is with you. The storm will end. The wind will cease. The waves will be still. Jesus will see you safely through to the other side.”
In the book, Judah references a story in Mark 4, where Jesus and His disciples are on a boat crossing to the other side of the sea. After a long day of preaching, Jesus is passed out in the back of the boat on the cushion. Jesus takes naps? That’s my kind of guy! While He’s napping, a bad storm rises up. So bad, in fact, that the boat is filling up with water and the disciples get a bit frantic. The storm rages on until finally they decide to wake up Jesus — who doesn’t seem phased by the storm at all.
Jesus is not disturbed by the storm.
So they wake Him up and ask if He cares that everyone is dying. I’d be that disciple for sure. “Hey JESUS! Don’t you see that we’re dying here!” my eyes bulging and my hands up in despair. Jesus, not a dramatic maniac, looks around and tells the storm to calm down, and it does. Simple as that. Done.
Oh, but Jesus is not done. He then turns to His disciples (that’s us) and asks them why they’re afraid. I’m not sure what it would be like to come face to face with Jesus, but I imagine I’d still be pretty sassy. I’d probably respond with a, “YOU SAW THE STORM?!” And He’d smile and ask why I didn’t have any faith and I’d shut up because I’d realize He was right. I didn’t have any faith.
That story is a pretty accurate description of what happens in my life. I have Jesus with me in all these storms and I still immediately get anxious. I see the water coming over the sides and things seem hopeless. My eyes get occupied with the storm instead of my Savior. Whatever shred of faith I thought I had seems non-existent as I shake Jesus in fear questioning whether He cares about me.
What we’ve got to remember is that there is never a storm that will come your way (or mine) that’s too big for Jesus. He’s never worried or shaken up, because He can handle it. All of it. One of His names, after all, is Prince of Peace. That’s exactly whom I need when things are chaotic and scary and I feel like I’m going down.
Jesus is not going to let me drown.
That’s the Truth we can stand on. He’s got you. You can trust Him. I know those waves look big, but He’s bigger. I know that car problem came out of nowhere, but He isn’t surprised. I know the doctors say a sickness can’t be cured, but He is the Great Physician. I’m not sure what you’re facing in your own life, but I am confident that whatever it is, we serve a God who can handle it. Nothing is too difficult for Him.
“When darkness veils His lovely face, I rest on His unchanging grace; In every high and stormy gale, My anchor holds within the veil.” — “The Solid Rock” by Edward Mote