Have you ever felt like you are a part of Hollywood’s newest movie about a storm? I have. Twice actually. And yesterday was one of those days.
All jokes aside, I thought I was going to die today.
Spoiler alert: I didn’t say that. But someone we met minutes after the storm ended did. Sometimes you wonder if what you went through was really as bad as it seemed at the time, and that comment confirmed that, yes, the storm we had just went through was as bad as it seemed. And when your friend texts you later and says “your dad just told my dad you’re all lucky to be alive”… yeah…
But let me back up a minute.
Yesterday. It was a beautiful summer day. Weather reports said there was a chance of a severe thunderstorm, but like many others, we took our chances and went on my parent’s boat with the kids. Like usual we went to the island so the kids could play in the sand, but when we got there, there were nasty looking clouds coming at us from the direction of where we would have to go in to dock the boat.
Like everyone on the island, we watched to see if the storm was coming directly at us, and we began to see bolts of lightening light up the clouds. Plain and simple. We waiting too long to leave the island.
As quickly as we jumped on the boat (not so quickly with two kids, and me who was trying to convince a woman on the island to come with us because she was alone) was as quickly as the storm charged at us.
(Side note: When I told God that I wanted to walk through life like we walked through that category 5 hurricane in Puerto Rico… I ALSO did NOT mean that I wanted to get caught in a freak storm on a boat with no shelter WITH MY KIDS. Insert eye roll here ____)
The rain began as we began heading in, and 2 things became apparent really quick, the storm ahead was really bad, and we weren’t escaping it.
It is I. Don’t be afraid. John 6:20
I write a lot about when Jesus was walking on water, and called Peter out of the boat in the middle of the storm, but there was another storm that the disciples were in. This time, Jesus was in the boat sleeping. Matthew 8:24 says this “Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.” Hmmm… some of that sounds oddly familiar.
The disciples went and woke Him up telling Him to save them because they were going to drown. Interesting enough, Jesus doesn’t calm the storm immediately. He first calls out their lack of faith. “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” It was then He rebuked the winds and the sea, and then it was perfectly calm.
Have you ever noticed that so many times before Jesus does something spectacular, He will call out His followers lack of faith? Here is the truth plain and simple. If God is for you, then you don’t have to be frozen in fear, when you can endure in faith.
There was no time for fear.
My dad drove as fast as possible, and we were okay until we got into the harbor, and then it was like hell broke loose as the wind threw hail at us, and we saw a wall of rain right ahead. There was no time for fear. There was no time to question if Jesus was with us, or is He was sleeping. The waves were getting too big for a boat as small as the one we were in, and as we were tossed around, my husband threw life jackets to all the adults. At that point it was a very real possibility that we were going to capsize, and all I could think was that I needed to get my life jacket on as quick as possible in case that happened. If we did capsize, I would need to do everything I could to keep my daughter’s head above the water.
No, there was no time for fear. My husband was helping my dad, my mom was trying to comfort Charlie who was shaking in fear, and Carmen (the woman that we took in from the island) and I were holding Olivia as she clung to her sopping wet blanket.
My dad didn’t think we would make it if we kept going into the storm. The waves were too much for our little boat, so he turned around, rode with the storm back to the island. The plan was to beach the boat, because that was the safest place for us.
Once we stopped fighting the storm by driving the boat into it, the struggle got a little easier. The wind, the waves, and the hail were still there, but because we were going in the same direction, it was more manageable. Charlie was still terrified, Olivia was still clinging for life to her wet, cold blanket, the storm was still beating down on us, but there was less of a struggle.
We beached the boat, which lessened the boat being tossed in the waves, and waited for the storm to end. Someone asked how the weather looked behind us, and at that point there was no end in sight. And sometimes the storms that we endure may look like there is no end in sight.
Stop fighting the storm. Perservere with everything He has given you.
The storm clouds are still there, there is no blue sky, you are getting pummeled by hail, and the sun is not shining.
If Jesus was asleep in our boat, and we had begun to freak out, I know what He would have said to us. He would have begun by calling out our lack of faith. Then continued and to say, Don’t be afraid. You don’t need to act in fear, when you can perservere in faith. I have given you everything that you need to endure this storm. You have enough lifejackets for everyone on board. Your captain is determined to get everyone home safely. He knows his boat, he knows what it can and cannot do. Stop fighting the storm, persevere with everything that I have given you. It is more than enough.
And it was. Eventually (and I mean let’s be real, the storm only lastest maybe 20 minutes) the storm ended. The sun was out within minutes once it was over. And 5 minutes later Olivia was sleeping in my arms, and Charlie was playing on the beach until we were able to get off the island.
What is your storm? Are you asking Jesus where He is? Do you feel like He is asleep? Do you feel like you are drowning and about to die? Our storms are all different. But His truth always remains the same. And He would tell us all the same thing as the storm is raging on. You of little faith, why are you so afraid?
Stop fighting the storm. Perservere with everything He has given you. He will give you everything you need to make it through.