Seas That Are Shaken And Stirred
Think back to a time that you experienced a severe natural event. I have lived through a couple of hurricanes. The most recent hurricane I weathered meteorologists predicted that our entire city would be leveled by wind and completely underwater. Fortunately, the hurricane only caused wind damage and power outages where we lived, but it left several towns and islands decimated.
I’m betting you’ve been through a similar kind of difficult or terrifying event. Perhaps you are wondering why are we thinking about such sad and frightening memories? For two reasons: first, so that we can recall what we felt in those moments and remember how difficult it was to trust God; and second, so that after we remember the challenging difficulty of the situation, we remember that God faithfully brought us through it. We are here, on the other side of all that pain and chaos.
Grander earth has quaked before
Moved by the sound of His voice
Seas that are shaken and stirred
Can be calmed and broken for my regard
Even When My Eyes Can’t See
There are other kinds of storms in our lives. Some are not so obvious to the world around us. You may have lived with a prodigal child or an unloving parent. Perhaps you experienced a broken relationship, or are coping with physical pain. Maybe you suffer from anxiety or depression or loneliness. But just like those natural storms, the Lord has and will always comfort, support, protect, and encourage you.
And far be it from me to not believe
Even when my eyes can’t see
And this mountain that’s in front of me
Will be thrown into the midst of the sea
They Still Know His Name
There are a couple of stories in the Bible about natural storms that teach us about trusting God in the midst of adversity. In one story, Jesus and His disciples were out in the middle of the sea and a huge storm came. The tempest tossed the boat everywhere and the disciples (many of whom were skilled, stoic seamen) were terrified. Jesus however was calmly sleeping. He knew everything was fine because He knew He could trust God to take care of Him no matter the furor around him. He was able to say “It is well with my soul” no matter how hard the wind blew and the waves crashed. In a panic, the disciples awakened Jesus. Jesus reminded them who had power over the elements; then He told the wind and waves “Peace! Be still.”
So let go my soul and trust in Him
The waves and wind still know His name
The second story that comes to mind is when Jesus told His disciples to get in the boat and meet him on the other side of the lake (which was really more the size of a sea). While they were traveling, a massive squall came up. Even more alarming, they heard and saw an apparition walking toward them! However, what they thought was a ghost was actually Jesus, walking on top of the waves. Peter, ever compulsive, insisted on joining Jesus on the water if Jesus advocated it. In a flash, Peter is over the side of the boat and walking on the water just like Jesus! Almost as quickly, Peter shifts his eyes off of Jesus. That was all it took for Peter to stop walking and start sinking. Jesus reached down and pulled him into the boat and the sea was immediately calm again.
Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on you
And it is well with me
It Is Well With Me
The lessons for us are poetically captured in this song “It is Well.” No matter how hard the battering storm is, we need to remember our God is bigger than any storm. Every impossible situation in our lives will submit to the commanding voice of God. When we are in the middle of chaos, we can keep our eyes fixed on Him, knowing and trusting that He is our peace and we can affirm once again “It is well with me.”