This weeks guest is a someone I count blessed to have in my life and call a close friend. I have never met him in person, I pray one day I enjoy that blessing, just to be able to say Thank You, for his heart and compassion, in person. He is a pastor, and author of “Give Faith a Second Chance”. He has been the receiver of second chances himself and can relate to “being at the end of your rope”. With all the accolades I could provide for Christopher, his greatest assest is his heart for God and his heart for people. He has donated numerous copies of his books to the recovery centers I speak at so others may know God is a God of second chances, people he’s never met and may never met. His Goal only exist in furthering God’s Kingdom, not his church membership. I am very blessed to count us friends and hope you will also be blessed by his post
Peace in the Storm
Back before satellite, Doppler radar and “Stormtracker” technology, it was kind of hard to tell when a storm was coming, its severity, and when it would be over.
Along our journeys in life, wouldn’t be nice to have a life storm Doppler? The kind of warning that would let us know in advance that a job loss or problems with our kids or cancer diagnoses or loss of loved ones were coming.
Funny though, how we spend a lot of time, too much time, anxiously awaiting those kinds of things, that may or may not happen. Trouble sleeping, hypertension, frustration are all fruit of worrying. And yet, all the worrying and anticipating in the world can’t keep those kinds of storms in our lives from arriving and hitting hard.
I don’t think my brave friend Heather, 36, as well as some other women I know, spent much time worrying whether or not she was going to get breast cancer. It just kind of came out of nowhere. And now she is fighting a valiant battle, and winning; but nonetheless it is a weathering storm – physically, mentally and spiritually. It’s like the kind of summer storm that haunts all night long.
In terms of jobs, some people had warnings; many did not. Some with more than 20 years at a job, some with great employment records, have been hit by this economic storm. And try to find a job right now…very difficult – the storm lingers.
In marriage, there are peaceful times and there are stormy times. A lot of marriages are in the middle of storms – often because of other storms hitting at the same time. It can feel like you are stranded on a boat in the middle of a raging sea and storm with no one else around to help or understand.
A lot of young people find themselves in a constant storm of pressure and expectation. Caught in the middle of wanting to make friends and keep friends that have different priorities and boundaries than their own, and negotiating with high expectations of success in all things by parents and other adults. It must feel like the wind and waves just keep coming, hammering – making you wonder if the boat can hold together through the storm.
All of this is a lot like how the disciples felt in Mark 4:35-41. On a journey themselves across the sea with their mysterious friend who was napping in the stern, they were suddenly overwhelmed by a vicious, demon-like storm that came out of nowhere. The storm looked like it would spell the end for this group.
In terror, they turned to their peaceful, calm friend and leader and said, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing!” Giving voice not only to their fears but to anyone who has ever felt overwhelmed and turned to a higher power for help.
The higher power in the boat and in this story of course is Jesus. But still the question, “Does he care?” The answer is “Yes.” But other related and important questions might be, “Does he care in a way that we are used to and are able to see (or willing to see by faith)?” and how about “Are we willing to trust and receive the kind of care and peace he wants to offer in storms?”
Awakened by his friends, Jesus stands up and rebukes the storm (just sounds cool) and says, “Peace, be still.” And all is calm – immediately. The reaction then and now is…awe. What can this man do if the winds and storms obey him? What power does he have? All power on earth and heaven.
And if he did and still does have all power on earth and heaven (which he does), what does that mean for us today?
“Why are we so fearful and faithless? For in many tragic ways, we are just that – afraid to rely on Jesus’ methods and motives, afraid to act as though God’s infinite resources were on the side of love,” according to New Testament scholar Halford E. Luccock.
Is it a case of “too good to be true?” Is it a case of his power seeming to not work in the past – failing to keep other storms from smashing our boats? It’s probably a lot of things.
But here is what I know and what I want you to know today, this moment. I know you or someone you love is facing a storm. I know that it is terrifying and it looks like you or they might not make it this time. I know that it feels awful and vulnerable and you feel powerless.
But I also know that Jesus is in the boat. And he is peace personified and he is saying, “I’ve got this” to whatever storms you or others are facing. And he wants you to know and receive the peace he has to offer you. And, I know it is hard to see it right now.
Maybe this is the time – that in the midst of this storm, instead finding or creating your own peace, instead of giving into fear, that you will look to the rear of the boat – seeing, saying, thinking and believing, “He’s got this.” Maybe this is that time…
You can find more about Christpher at www.christopherbwolf.com and follow his blog at http://christopherbwolf.wordpress.com/