Life is full of storms. Storms that we need to learn to weather. Recently, it has felt like the storms of life have been increasingly strong. It may even feel like the end is not in sight. But the scriptures teach us that there is relief from any storm through Christ.
The Storms of Life
As we ride through life, we all experience different storms. Sometimes, the storm is only a light sprinkle. Everyday trials that are frustrating, but are manageable. Sometimes, it is a strong storm. Trials are scary, jarring, and disruptive. And sometimes, it is a hurricane. This type of storm is dark and unknown. The winds are so strong your boat is being washed out to sea. These storms are life-changing.
The Scriptures Tell Us…
Mark 4 tells the story of the time the Lord went with the apostles on their fishing boat across the Sea of Galilee.
37 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.
38 And [Jesus] was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?
39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?
41 And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?
There is a lot to love and to learn from this passage. Let’s dive in.
Christ Was There
Often when I experience my own personal storms, I feel like I relate to the popular children’s song, “A Child’s Prayer” when the song says:
Heavenly Father, are you really there?
And do you hear and answer ev’ry child’s prayer?
I plead with my Heavenly Father, asking, “Father? Are you really there? Do you hear my prayer?” At times, it may feel like our prayers are not being heard or answered. But that does not mean Heavenly Father is not there with us, shedding tears alongside us.
If we look at this story, we know that Christ was there throughout the entire storm. In his talk, “An High Priest of Good Things to Come,” Jeffrey R. Holland said, “I testify of God’s love and the Savior’s power to calm the storm. Always remember in that biblical story that He was out there on the water also, that He faced the worst of it right along with the newest and youngest and most fearful.” He was on the same boat as the apostles, experiencing the rocky waves right alongside them. Although the apostles did not see Him at all times because He was inside, He was always there.
As mentioned in verse 38, Christ was asleep on the ship during the storm. Christ must have known the storm wouldn’t hurt anyone and calmed the storm for the sake of the Apostles. Christ did not think they would be destroyed by the storm, but because THEY thought they were going to be destroyed, He calmed it. Some trials in life feel like they will destroy us. When we hit rock bottom and it feels like every window and door is closed, the Lord knows this storm will not destroy us. But He will provide peace in the storm because He loves us.
Master, Carest Thou Not That We Perish?
I am sure when the storm began, the apostles had faith in their own strength. These apostles were experienced fishers. Fishing was their livelihood. They spent countless hours on the sea. They should know that when storms arrive, they come quickly. I can imagine as the waves got bigger, the fear for their lives also grew. But Christ was there. Why were they so afraid?
These apostles had been the witnesses of many of the miracles Christ performed. How could they forget? They should have known He could calm the storm, right?
I believe that when we are riding through the storms of life, we often forget the powers of Heaven. I know that I also forget my ability to be patient with Heaven. But perhaps, like the apostles on the Sea of Galilee, the stirring of their faith was ultimately more important than the stilling of the sea. Being able to overcome these storms and ride through these waves with the Lord by our side is ultimately the experience that grows our testimonies.
We must believe that the God of life and love began to calm the winds and the waves of this storm. We must have hope in Christ. He himself pressed on, even in those dark hours at Gethsemane and Calvary, continuing to trust in the very God whom He momentarily feared had forgotten Him.
We All Experience Storms
We know this is not the only storm they experience in the New Testament. The apostles experience another storm in Mark Chapter 14. Why is it that these men, who were closest to Christ, still experienced storms?
No matter how righteous, we all experience storms of life. Even the prophets and apostles are not exempt. We must remember that our faith does not take away our likelihood to experience trials. Heavy burdens will come our way no matter what. But BECAUSE of our faith, the journey will be possible.
Again, in his talk, “An High Priest of Good Things to Come,” Jeffrey R. Holland said,
“Only one who has fought against those ominous waves is justified in telling us—as well as the sea—to ‘be still.’ Only one who has taken the full brunt of such adversity could ever be justified in telling us in such times to ‘be of good cheer.’ Such counsel is not a jaunty pep talk about the power of positive thinking, though positive thinking is much needed in the world. No, Christ knows better than all others that the trials of life can be very deep and we are not shallow people if we struggle with them.”