The storm raged on, waves crashing into the bow of the boat as her heart screamed in terror. The bolts of lightning came quick as the grey sky darkened to black around their boat. It seemed as if all of hell was waging war on this one small sea. The pounding thunder intruded what had started as a calm ride full of laughter and glee. “Jesus. Oh Jesus where is He?” her heart cried as her eyes raced around the deck of the boat. “He would know what to do,” she thought. It took her just moments to find him since their boat was rather small. Her mouth dropped in wonder while her eyes beheld the sight before her. Sleeping! He was fast asleep! “How could he sleep through the the tossing of the waves and the crashing of thunder?” She thought to herself. Lost in her wonder, she didn’t feel the slow rock of the boat grow stronger as wave after wave pounded into the side of the wooden boat. The next wave threw her to her knees and sent water crashing into the belly of the boat. The pain and blood running from her knees pulled her out of wonder and back to reality. Fear overtook her on that cold, wet floor. Shaking, she grabbed Jesus and screamed, “Jesus! Jesus, wake up! Where are you? What are you doing? Don’t you see this storm? Don’t you see what it is doing to me? Save me! Save me!”
Oh how many times I have felt like the disciples in the boat as they were overcome by fear while Jesus slept. Storms rage around us on a daily basis, and I find myself reacting like the girl in this retelling, yelling at Jesus, “where are you? Why did you leave? Don’t you see what is happening to me? Why won’t you do something? Why don’t you care?” Thankfully he is so good, faithful all the time, and sovereign to have overcome all the storms we will face. Jesus’ ability to calm the storm is not dependent on how big or small the waves may seem. His ability to calm the storm is dependent on who He is. And He is good. That will never change. He is faithful. That is eternal. He is sovereign. That is set in stone. Not only does he see our storms, he rests during them as a way to show us how we should trust. We have the ability to sleep during great trials because we know who our God is, and we know he will do his will for our good and his glory.
His eyes fluttered open as a small smile crept to his lips. “Darling, why do you fear?” “The storm Jesus! Do you not hear it and see it? How are you sleeping?” She pleaded as her eyes burned with terrified tears. “Peace be still,” he whispered to her heart as he rose from his bed. Her heart stilled while she followed him up the small steps onto the deck of the boat. “Peace be still,” he repeated to the dark clouds and impending doom. “Peace be still.” She caught her breath as instantly she watched the clouds part and light shine through. The waves stilled in a moment, and the rain stopped. There wasn’t a single sign that a storm had come and passed, and part of her wondered if she was dreaming. “Peace be still,” he smiled.
Peace be still.
Sometimes I enjoy reading old journals, reminding myself of the storms that once stood before me. It’s amazing how little of them I remember when Jesus is involved. His grace is sufficient for us today. As I dwelt on this story the past few weeks, Papa reminded me how my heart always longs to have my Beloved still the storm that is raging around me, but he doesn’t always still that storm instantaneously. My mind was drawn to another story with the disciples and a storm. Jesus walking on water is another prime example of how Jesus tackles the hard times we go through. His goodness never changes, and even when I feel it would be best of him to calm the storm with a single word, he is faithful to see what I truly need, and he calls me to walk on water with him.
She stared at the waves before her, wondering, pondering, and confused as she saw the shadowy figure grazing the top of the waters towards her. She was petrified, saying, “who is this? It must be a ghost! Lord save me!” The figure spoke to her, “breathe child, for it is I, Jesus.” Unbelief overtook her. “If it is truly you, call me to walk with you on the waves,” she called back timidly. “Come child,” he responded. “Come.”
How many times have I challenge God this same way. “If it really is you, tell me to come with you. Call me. Show me. Tell me. Confirm it to me.” Yet, he never grows sick of my need for reassurance. I laugh sometimes because I see him as a father and me as the child who asks repetitively, “why is the sky blue? Why are we here? Are we there yet? Why did you pick me? Can I have ice cream? Why not? Why? Why? Why?” My patience to answer Vanessa’s millions of questions each day is so low, and yet our father never grows impatient with us as we ask Him to confirm and reassure us. He loves to answer us and returns our wonderings with perfect patience. He is faithful to meet us where we are at, and our doubt, our need for constant leading does not come as a surprise to him. You, my dear, are not powerful enough to knock the King of kings off his throne. Your issues can never be that big. He will still call you out on the water.
She was stuck now. She had asked him to call her out, and he had. Now she must step onto the waves. Clearly she hadn’t thought this one through! Her mind filled with fear as she contemplated that first step from the boat. “Do not be afraid, My darling,” His gentle voice echoed across the waves, “step out. You are brave. You are my beloved.” One shaking step after the other, and suddenly she found herself walking on the waves, eyes locked with her savior, fully dependent on His nature, fully in love with who He was, is, and will be, and obsessed with this new intimacy with Him. Her pace quickened as her heart filled with glee over the reality she was walking. “Jesus! Jesus look! I’m doing it,” she laughed with wonder, “I’m actually doing it!” Joy filled her being as she proceeded towards him. His smile was contagious and his eyes, gentle. The water lapped at her bare feet as she swayed towards him. Her eyes fell before her to the cold, dark water. As quickly as her joy came about she felt it go. One look at the waves below her and fear came calling. As that fear overtook her, she felt her body go limp with its weight and she began to sink. Fear is a heavy weight to carry, and when holding onto it, one simply cannot walk on water. “Jesus!” She cried, “Lord save me.” And there he was, by her side, lifting her high, dusting her off, and standing her back on her feet. “Why do you fear Dear One? Am I not faithful? Am I not sovereign until the end? Am I not for you, and will I not protect you?”
Will I not protect you?
So often I see waves before me and I beg God to call them to be still, but Jesus in turn calls me out upon those waves, to learn to walk, to learn to trust, and to grow in intimacy with him. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abendego would have never learned to walk face to face with Jesus had he simply put the furnace out, but instead, he allowed it and entered into it with them, only to pull them out without a single burn. That is the God we serve. He entered into this world to die and rise again so he may pull us out without a burn; so that he may establish his kingdom without flaw, perfect, beautiful, and eternal. Through learning to walk on the waves, and sink in many of them, I have come to find my God to be one that is faithful to pull me up time and time again in love. Never does he judge my stumbling, but in fact he smiles at me, reminds me he is faithful, and allows me to learn to walk all over again. The intimacy found in that place is one that is unbeatable, for he is faithful.
He is faithful.
She timidly smiled at her beloved, wishing she had not sunk in that wave, but grateful he spared her from drowning. He smiled back at her, love spewed all over his face as he drew her into his arms and started to dance. “Trust my lead Little One. Trust me.” Step after step she believed her savior was good. Step after step she believed her savior was faithful, and in that truth, she learned to graze over the waves, up and down with her Beloved. No matter what came their way, they danced. One two three. One two three. One two three. One two three. Her body fell into the rhythms of his abundant grace for her. One two three. One two three.
His grace is sufficient for you.
His grace is sufficient for you.
His grace is sufficient for you.