LORD OF THE STORM
This world can be a dangerous place. We spend a lot of our life trying to avoid or protect ourselves from its danger. Think of how cars are advertised. “This car has front seat, passenger, and side airbags, anti-lock breaks, all-wheel drive, a camera to help you back up, a system that will keep you from getting too close to another car, and it performed great in our crash test safety ratings!” Think of what we want in our houses: strong locks on the doors and the windows, a roof that won’t come flying off in a hurricane, smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and alarm systems. Think of what the majority of our tax dollars pay for: defense and the military, fire stations, police officers, public safety and security. Or even think of how we raise our children. With baby number three, my wife, Kristin, and I are already starting to think through what baby-proofing our house again will look like. We are constantly warning our girls not to put small toys near her and making sure she doesn’t put something in her mouth that could choke her. A lot of parenthood is just trying our best to make sure our children survive.
We have to concern ourselves with all of these things because the world can be a dangerous and scary place. Despite our best efforts, however, we ultimately can’t control the world. We can buy the most secure car or build the most secure house, but still, we might crash or have our house fall apart in an earthquake. We live in constant fear of pain and death and loss in a world where those things are commonplace. Part of the reason these things are so scary is that they can just happen. They are beyond our control despite our best efforts.
Here is the good part though. We can know the one who does have control over this world and over nature. We can know the one whose power knows no bounds. Not only is he all powerful, but he is also all-loving, all-gracious, and all-wise. There is a moment in Jesus’ ministry when his disciples panic over a sudden, dangerous storm while they are all riding in a boat. Jesus then rises from the bottom of the boat and rebukes the storm with a word, stopping it in its tracks (Mark 4:35–41).
What is Jesus doing here? He is letting us know that in a world that can hurt us, and where nature is indifferent to us and storms can overtake us at any moment, he is able to still the storm. He is Lord even of the storm. Things like hurricanes, car crashes, break-ins, devastating medical news, and even death can break into our lives and hurt us despite our best efforts to protect ourselves, but Jesus not only cares about us, he loves us with an infinitely powerful love. In the midst of this unpredictable, dangerous, and even scary world, we can know the one who has power and control over the world, the one who can save us and bring us through the worst this world can throw at us. Jesus never abandons us, and he is always there for us. We can trust him.