I have always loved the story of Jesus rebuking the storm in Mark 4:35 – 41. When I was a child I used to hide when storms came. I was very afraid of thunder and I was too little to understand that noise was the only real threat thunder had to offer. It didn’t matter in the midst of the storm though. All I knew was I was scared and needed shelter.
I have come quite a long way from the frightened child hiding under her bed from the thunder, but some storms still scare me. Some noises still leave my soul greatly jolted and deeply disturbed.
War is the storm of my adulthood. The storms of deployments and uncertainty still leave me searching for shelter. There are many days when I wish I could hide from it all, and come out when the storm is over. It is an abiding faith that allows me to keep from running and hiding. I can abide because Christ Jesus abides with me in His Word and through the Holy Spirit.
Can I “consider it joy” when I face these trials? Not on my own. I can consider it joy when I rest in the knowledge that the trials I face day in and day out are not put there for my defeat. According to James 1:2 those trials are put before me to help me grow in endurance.
Does this mean I should embrace war and fear and never pray for it’s end? Of course not. It means I need to walk toward the trial with confidence and remember that the Lord will not put me through more than He will enable me to handle. I trust that whatever He calls me to endure, He will certainly equip me to handle. I pray for war to cease, but I also pray for the grace to embrace with faith whatever reality God has placed before me.
When I ponder the story of Christ and the disciples in that tiny boat being tossed all around I have to wonder what the outcome would have been had the disciples asked Jesus to help their faith before they asked Him to stop the storm. There is nothing wrong with crying out “Lord, please stop the storm!” The scripture passage clearly shows that the Lord rebuked the storm, and not the disciples. He did gently admonish them for their lack of belief. They were supposed to assume that Jesus did, most definitely, care for them and their lives.
I am still practicing. It’s still my propensity to yell out “Lord, please stop the storm!” instead of crying out “Lord please give me the faith I lack!” first. What if I asked the Father to still my soul before I asked Him to still the storm? I pray one day this will be my response and it will feel as natural as taking my next breath. Instead of being tossed about helplessly in the boat, it is my sincere prayer that I will abide with the Lord in the eye of the storm.