Matthew 8:23-27 – Storms of Life

Read Matthew 8:23-27

This is a Bible story I have acted out time and time again. As a Sunday School teacher, you always hope that using an “experience” like a re-enactment will help the kids to grasp a little of what’s happening here. It’s more than the waves. It’s more than Jesus being a deep sleeper.

This is something that happened, rather than a parable or story Jesus is telling. But the lessons we see here are plentiful. We see Jesus get into a boat with his disciples, presumably to retreat to a quieter destination where the crowds aren’t closing in. We see Jesus falling asleep out of pure exhaustion. Jesus is God, but he is also human, and he has been in demand with his teachings and healings. Who wouldn’t be totally spent and ready for some peace and quiet?

We also see a storm blow up, and the disciples are consumed with fear. They see their lives flashing before their eyes. It’s like they had never experienced a storm on the lake before. In their panic, they wake Jesus and have the good sense to ask him to save them. They didn’t know what Jesus was going to do, but they knew they needed him.

Then it happens. Jesus commands the storm to end. And just like that, calm is restored. Just like that. Despite the fact that the disciples had nearly begged Jesus for his help, they couldn’t help but be amazed at the result. “Who is this man?” they asked. “Even the winds and waves obey him!” I have to admit that would have been a sight to behold.

We can take this example and apply it to any storm we may have raging around us. What are you struggling with? A broken relationship, chronic pain, being stuck in a job that drains you to your core, guilt over something you’ve done, illness, financial collapse, and the list goes on. Whatever your “storm” is, call on Jesus to rebuke it! His power is available to us.

We tend to give way too much power to our circumstances. It’s way too easy to fixate on something that is bothering us until it consumes us. What good does that do? Instead, we should be crying to Jesus for rescue. Jesus will send the lifeboat for us. Do you believe that? Really believe that?

Maybe you’ve even been a witness to Jesus calming a storm in your life. Hallelujah! I know I have. I’d love to hear about yours in the comments–if you’d like to share. I was able to retreat from an abusive marriage that was eating me alive. I feared for my life and the life of my children, yet I felt like I was stuck. I had made a vow to this man. How could I reconcile that with God? But through the storm, I prayed. I never lost hope that God would rescue me. I just didn’t know how it was going happen. One day I had the courage. I trusted Jesus every step of the way, and he led me to an even more beautiful future than I could have ever imagined.

Psalm 46:10 is one of my favorite verses. I even named this devotional blog with that in mind. “Be still, and know that I am God.” There is a song that comes to mind every time I think of this passage. It’s called “Still” by Hillsong, and you can listen to it HERE. The images are fantastic! During the interlude, call on Jesus to be with you in your storm.

Let’s pray. I am overcome right now with gratitude for how you have brought me through the storms in my life. Forgive me for being afraid and unsure while it was raging around me. Thank you for the calm you bring in the storm’s wake. Help me rest in you and trust you more deeply. Reveal yourself to me and guide me. Use me so others will be touched by your mighty hand as well. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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