Lightning cracks, its immense arms fanning out across the sky and illuminating the dark night with dazzling white light. “You have to slow down! You will drive right into a tornado!” I yell at my husband as I nervously eye the weather radar. Contrary to my advice, he relentlessly continues on our 5-hour drive home.
I know some people, like my husband, feel emboldened barreling toward danger. The term “storm chaser,” on the other hand, is never a title I wish to bestow upon myself. But on this particular night, we find ourselves sandwiched between two severe weather systems. Tornado warnings blare constantly as we drift just outside the perimeter of the storm in front of us. We know another system is coming close behind and, if we stop moving, the next storm will catch us.
In the midst of my panic, I hear my son’s quiet, yet matter-of-fact voice coming from the back seat. “We will stay safe. I prayed to God already.” Peace nudges fear out of the way. My heart melts and I am in awe of my 6-year-old son’s confident faith. God prods my heart: How are you any different than the disciples in the storm? It’s true. God uses the storms of life to glorify Him and emboldened our faith.
“Let us go across to the other side of the lake.” So they put out, and while they were sailing he fell asleep. A windstorm swept down on the lake, and…they were in danger (Luke 8:22-23).
God calls us into the storm.
Jesus, being fully God, knows the perilous plight ahead of the disciples. Even still, he calls them into the storm. In complete obedience to the Father’s will, Jesus even has the audacity to sleep!
I have a hard time wrapping my mind around God’s plans and purposes when they don’t make sense. In our limited human capacity to understand, we must rest in the knowledge of God’s goodness. Despite my brain telling me to have faith during life’s storms, my heart has a harder time relenting to peace. God showed me how the simple faith of a child produces the peace I so desperately need.
And he woke up and rebuked the wind and the raging waves; they ceased, and there was a calm. He said to them, “Where is your faith?” (Luke 8:23-25)
God gives us faith and peace.
If God calls us into the storm, then the natural reaction of our flesh is fear. We see how the disciples panic and switch into survival mode. In contrast, Jesus literally rests in the peace of God.
God’s Kingdom coming to earth often manifests in ways contrary to our earthly modus operandi. Therefore, the fruits of the spirt are gifts God freely gives us regardless of our situation. Gifts like faith and peace transcend the outward circumstances as well as our inward condition that predispose us to act out of our own flesh. When we act out of God’s power instead of our own, we are seeing His Kingdom come. My kingdom-bringing son readily responded to Jesus’ question of faith. “It’s right here!”
They were afraid and amazed, and said to one another, “Who then is this, that he commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him? (Luke 8:25)
He is with us.
I sometimes wonder how the disciples would ever question Jesus’ divine identity after witnessing his miracles. After all, they were standing right beside him! I’d like to give them—and myself—the benefit of the doubt and say their question is rhetorical. However, perhaps the disciples were just showing their humanity present within all of us.
Sometimes we find ourselves in the position of needing to receive more faith. How often do we let our hearts or minds get in the way? When we feel like God is asleep in our moment of peril, he is still with us. Just ask my son. In the middle of tornado sirens, he will tell you that God is near.
Obviously, you know how my story ends. I am here today writing this story. But let us remember that Jesus went through the ultimate storm. God called him to die on a cross. Even still, he possessed divine assurance to walk boldly in obedience as the Lamb of God. Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, we will never have to experience that godforsaken separation caused by our sin. Instead, we are made new and nothing can separate us from Him.