In the Midst of a Storm

Snowy-Sunday-at-Immanual-M

The words pressed so hard into my chest, even my four year-old could feel it. His hand rubbed my cheek as he searched to see what I was thinking. Because he knows we don’t talk during church, we listen with hearts wide open. And I was hearing the message loud and clear.

“That day when evening came, He 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.
He said to His disciples, ‘Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?
They were terrified and asked each other, ‘Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey Him!'” Mark 4:35-41

When our pastor was reading the text, my thoughts couldn’t get beyond “just as He was“. The disciples took Jesus as He was. Well, why wouldn’t they? Sure He might have been eccentric…exhausted…

My heart warmed as I realized, that’s how He takes me. He was tired from teaching thousands and I can be weary from parenting just one. Still He takes me, and leads me to the other side safely. Just as I am. Thank You, Jesus…

I read the passage over again, as that feeling I was missing something wouldn’t leave. It hit me on the third go around:

The disciples wailed “Teacher, don’t You care?”

It was there in black and white or I would have never believed it. The disciples — the ones who knew Jesus best still said this to Him? Still wondered if He cared? Still worried that Jesus didn’t see them?

and Jesus’ reply “Why are you so afraid?”

Friends, He’s said this to me before. Many times. And to think, even the disciples got caught in the grips of fear which always pull us away from The Truth:

Jesus sees us…He knows our need better than we do…

As my thoughts trail, I hear our pastor say
“God is not moved by need. God is moved by faith.”
Which brings the second portion of His question into the light.

“Do you still have no faith?”

So it is true…faith casts out fear…

It’s the word ‘still’ that stings. Because how many chances do we need to get it right? How long will it take for me to truly see, know, understand, live, believe in my very marrow that He’s got me? No matter what comes my way, He’ll hold fast.

Does He still need to hold my hand and remove distractions for me?

Then the real clincher hits. After the winds had died down. Once the water was as calm as bath water. When the events that caused fear in the first place were wiped away…

“The disciples were terrified”

They were even more scared…not relieved.
So it is true…fear isn’t the problem. Our faith is…

I have to ask myself, and maybe you need to join me:

Would I be terrified if He took away my storm?
If He spoke and my life as I know it now became smooth sailing…what would I do?

    • Would I, like the disciples, not recognize it was because of my Savior? 
    • Would I, like the disciples, find something else to worry about?
    • Would I, like the disciples, talk to others about the issue and not talk to The Solution?

My ears tune into our pastor’s message as I recap where The Word has brought me. And I hear:

“God knows our need — it’s Jesus. It’s always Jesus.”

Father, I know the grip of fear all too well. I have no trouble finding something to worry about. I focus on the problem and not the solution: YOU. Jesus, You know my needs and have taken care of them already. Thank You.
Holy Spirit, please remind me…whisper in my ear daily this world is not my Home. Help me focus on Glory and not the obstacles we will overcome here.

I may get weary…I may feel pain…It may get ugly, but I can rest in the truth: You will take me just as I am.

Thank You, Abba. You are good all the time and I can stand firm knowing no matter what comes my way, it will work out in Your favor. For Your glory. For good to those who love You and Father, I do love You. I’m captivated by You. I’m in awe of You…

All I have to fear is You, God. And know in my very marrow, You’ve got me in the palm of Your hand…

How about you, friend? How does this passage speak to you? How do you combat fear and all that masks us from our true need? I’d love to hear. 

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

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15 thoughts on “In the Midst of a Storm

  1. Hey friend… Love this and just this morning I spoke of fears when I wrote this… “Truth is a more fertile ground than the fallow field of failure. Keeping my eyes on Him, trusting Him to be my source is the only way to silence the hiss of lies and doubt.” – Love how God choses a theme for me each day… How he speaks to me through others like you! Thank you friend.

  2. Oh Nikki how easy it is to get “caught in the grips of fear which always pull us away from the Truth.” But there is so much encouragement in this wonderful story – knowing Jesus will calm our storms and all we really need is Him. Thank you dear friend, love and hugs,
    Joy

  3. Hi dear Nikki
    I sometimes get impatient with myself for being such a slow learner, but then, our times are in His hands and He knows what we are capable of. I am just so glad that we can just give all the fears over to Him again and again until we learn not to take it back!
    Much love to you, dear friend
    Mia

  4. Thank you. I am wrapped in fear/worry of the future and there are times I think I am such a failure, but even those close to him feared. They also knew he could save them. Thank you for the reminder today.

    • Thank you for stopping by and sharing with me, Kristin! The enemy is good at confusing reality, isn’t he. We are nothing without Him and satan passes that off as failure. Praying we both learn to lean into our Savior hard when doubt creeps in. Hugs to you!

  5. I love His grace that calms the storm despite their lack of faith. It’s amazing that after all they had seen Him do that they still doubted, yet don’t I do that too? And still He gives grace. Thanks for these words today, Nikki!

  6. Dear Nikki,
    How tender our Father God is with our hearts as He spoke to you through His Word…I am ever so grateful that He does take us as we are otherwise all would be lost for I could never ever be good enough to merit His gift of forgiveness and salvation…I wonder if the disciples were more scared because it became even more clear how powerful Jesus was because He could calm the storm… You are so right to point out the problem isn’t what we are afraid of but our lack of faith…Help me, Lord, with my unbelief…Do you think the disciples’ faith grew because they went through this trial?

    Is next week We. Feb 6 okay for your guest post? I will try to call later this week to iron out details…love to you:) Thank you for sharing your heart 🙂

  7. Fear is a hard one, because we do NEED it. We need to fear the consequence of sin. (just a we teach our children) We need to fear the perils in this physical world (its why we always put on our seat belts in the car). Most of all we need that healthy, scriptural fear of God, that is hard to pin down or put into words. I read the disciples last words as an almost rhetorical question. “Who is he that the winds even obey”. It’s awe. Awe terrifies. And just like your Pastor said “it always comes back to Jesus” Jesus is the tenderness that comes up besides us with real arms of comfort after the awe.
    Always enjoy your thoughtful lovely posts.

  8. Pingback: Cart Before the Horse « Anointed Place Ministries

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