The wind howls as it hurdles through the screen porch, and the rain drives against the windows. Have you ever stopped to consider the power of the winds and rain? Do you fear them? Living in Mississippi, I’ve grown accustomed to paying close attention to the winds and rain. Tornadoes are all too common in this part of the country. Powerful, overwhelming, mighty, destructive winds. Dark clouds, quickly racing against the sky often become the my focus on days when the storms rage.
Wind alone is overwhelming, but what about when it is combined with rain? The heavy, driving rain that appears so quickly, and overwhelms the earth with it volume. Where I live, it’s not uncommon for it to rain so fast and heavy that cars must pull over to the side of the road when traveling. Visibility is non-existent, and floods occur quickly. The dry southern soil cannot consume the driving spring rain quickly enough, sewer drains cannot swallow the deluge, and soon our streets become raging rapids. At times, even the mighty Mississippi River’s banks cannot contain the abundance of water poured out from the heavens. The mighty power of the rain is not lost on me.
It’s for these reasons, that while studying Matthew 8:23-27 I found myself once again awe struck by the miraculous power of Jesus. Y’all, He just overwhelms my heart and mind! Oh what it would have been like to attend His teaching times. I cannot imagine the wonder of witnessing as He performed miracles, and fellowshipped with families in their homes. In Matthew miracles abound.
Matthew 8 picks up as Jesus and his disciples had been traveling. Jesus was performing mighty miracles, and He had even just cast out demons from one who was possessed. Away to the water Jesus and His disciples went. Jesus found peaceful rest in the the boat upon the waters. Do you ever find peace in the water or near the waters? I’m not a swimmer, but I love the sound of water. A babbling brook bubbling as it makes it way down a twisting and turning path. A gentle stream trickling over rocks, or the rush of a majestic waterfall is calming to me. Growing up, I lived only a few miles from Lake Michigan. When times were difficult, and I needed to clear my head, I loved to go to the lake. I listened to the lap of the waves creating a rhythmic melody. That place always calmed my spirit. I suspect that after Jesus had healed person after person during his travels, He must have been tired, and sought a little rest in the solitude of the gently rocking boat, while the disciples guided it to the next destination.
Calm and gentle waves were quickly replaced with mighty winds, and crashing seas. Verse 24 describes how “…suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so the boat was covered with the waves…” Imagine how the waters were crashing over the sides of the boat. I’m certain that small vessel must have violently rocked from the power of the sea. Yet, Jesus slept. Our Savior never feared…don’t you wish you could be so calm during a storm? Not simply during the storms composed of winds and rains, but what about during the storms that fill our lives? Oh how I desire to never panic in fear. Rarely do I succeed in that desire. The disciples panicked. They too were human like you and I. They woke Jesus as the storm raged, begging Him to save them as they were certain they would die.
I love how Jesus calmly says, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” That simple statement in verse 26 hits hard doesn’t it y’all? Fear…how often are you in fear? I know I’m there frequently. Fearful of my health, for my child, for my family, for safety…y’all I frequently have to drive in Memphis. Nothing but fear is consuming when you travel those crazy interstates! Oh, but Jesus says we should not fear. Not even in Memphis traffic. As a matter of fact, He goes so far here to say that if we are fearful, we are of little faith. Ouch! That statement just might leave a mark! Jesus’s mighty power is far greater than any raging sea, destructive wind, crazy driver, or hormonal teenager. How do I know? Because the scripture tells us of Jesus’s overwhelming power. “Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.”
Y’all, Jesus is so powerful that all He had to do was to tell the winds and the raging seas to stop, and they did! How is it that if even the winds and the seas know the mighty power of God, we so often times forget? Dear Sister, some days I just want to kick myself for worrying. I mean good grief! If God could simply speak the world into existence, and if Jesus calmed the raging seas with simple words, then why on earth do I think that He won’t come through for me? Why do I fail to trust Him? Why do I have so little faith? O Dear Lord, help me to live with a mighty faith. Help me to trust in you at all times, in all circumstances. Lord, let me remember…let me trust…that you will calm the raging seas of my life,
The winds have settled down now. The rain is no longer pounding with force on my window. Calm and quiet are filling my home tonight, as the dog lays at my feet snoring in unison with my husband. The Fuzzy Buddy, our Maine Coon, is walking by pawing at my hand for petting, and a quiet peace blankets this place. I just heard a rumble of thunder. It’s almost as if God is rumbling…reminding me that He is present…reminding me to trust Him in all circumstances. Dear Sister, I pray that you too can learn to walk in an even greater faith than ever before. Never fear! Because while that boat may rock and the waves may crash over you, Jesus has the power to calm it all. Just have faith.