When everything around us seems like it’s spiraling out of control …
… people often remind us of the Bible passage in which Jesus is sleeping in the storm as his disciples were, for lack of a better phrase, freaking out. We know we need to focus on something during hard times, but Jesus getting some rest while things are seemingly falling apart is normally not helpful. What should catch our attention is why Jesus is able to rest peacefully in the middle of our storms.
Focusing on what He knows, that we do not know yet, may be the key to unlocking the peace you so desperately need. Jesus knows the purpose of our storms. Think of these events as rain storms with thunder, lightning, heavy rain, and powerful winds in a forest where the trees represent things planted in your heart.
What if the storms are because we have branches God wants to get rid of? What if the very thing we are trying stop is to get rid of things that are weighing us down?
What if He’s using such extreme methods because they’re the only things powerful enough to pull up root systems that are sucking dry our time and energy away from our purpose?
- Singles: God doesn’t want you bringing roots of lust or branches of selfishness into a relationship.
- Dating couples: God doesn’t want your relationship to have a tree of bitterness soak up all of your time with arguments when He’s called you to spend that time learning how to worship Him together.
- Married couples: He sees that part of you that feels rejected by your spouse so He lovingly allows a storm to bring it to the surface for it to be worked through, before it becomes deeply rooted in who you are.
Let’s take a closer look at the passage in Mark 4 where Jesus is sleeping in the storm.
“Later that day, after it grew dark, Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Let’s cross over to the other side of the lake.’ After they had sent the crowd away, they shoved off from shore with him, as he had been teaching from the boat, and there were other boats that sailed with them. Suddenly, as they were crossing the lake, a ferocious tempest arose, with violent winds and waves that were crashing into the boat until it was all but swamped. But Jesus was calmly sleeping in the stern, resting on a cushion. So they shook him awake, saying, ‘Teacher, don’t you even care that we are all about to die!’ Fully awake, he rebuked the storm and shouted to the sea, ‘Hush! Calm down!’ All at once the wind stopped howling and the water became perfectly calm. Then he turned to his disciples and said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Haven’t you learned to trust yet?”’
Luke ends his account of this event with “Why are you fearful? Have you lost your faith in me?” and Matthew ends his with “Why are you gripped with fear? Where is your faith?”
Any way we look at it, Jesus is showing us His perspective and an example of the purpose of storms.
This storm was to expose where the disciples’ faith — to show them it wasn’t in Jesus — and to cause them to see they needed to learn to trust. It wasn’t the enemy messing with them, it wasn’t to show them Jesus didn’t pay attention to their storms, but to remove roots they couldn’t have moving forward.
Pay attention when storms come your way, and instead of assuming their purpose, remember what Jesus shows us regarding God’s intention in allowing storms to come our way.
Get out of complaining and trying to pray storms away, but instead do these next 5 things.
- Thank the Father for the storm. Changing our perspective to one of thankfulness makes it way harder to waste time and energy grumbling or complaining.
- Tell God you don’t want Him to take away the storm until His purpose is accomplished. Accepting that God has a greater purpose and embracing it shifts your focus into a Kingdom mindset.
- Take time to meditate on what has been exposed during the storm. What has been exposed during this time? Are you realizing you run when conflict comes up in your relationship? Did this financial hardship show you a need for a budget? Etc.
- Identify Scripture and a trusted Christian in the area that was exposed. Find someone who is always vulnerable and communicates well in their marriage. Purchase a book from a well-known godly individual regarding relationships. Look up proverbs about managing money, etc.
- Create a goal to pull out root systems and cut off branches. Do whatever it takes to get rid of, change, transform, and grow in the area that the storm was sent to expose. This can be anything from praying some of the scriptures you found, having a mentor call you every day to check in, or deciding to get rid of all the phone numbers of people you used to date. Set your mind on doing anything and everything it takes to be firmly planted in the Lord.
Our perspectives need to be transformed from focusing on the storm to focusing on the Son. Focus on allowing the Holy Spirit to pull out and prune anything He wants so we continue to look more and more like Jesus.
Running from the storms of life doesn’t keep us safe — that just keeps us in sin. It keeps us holding onto what’s weighing us down. But when we address the storm, healing occurs and simultaneously the waves and winds die down.
It takes speaking to the storm instead of complaining about it for the power of the Lord to be released, just as the disciples realized on the boat that day.
Jillian is a 26-year-old from Wisconsin and working as an occupational therapist. Jillian started living her life for God at 21 and watched as He transformed her life into something way different, but way more beautiful, than she ever thought was possible. Going from a life dependent on good grades and attention from men to a life marked by sacrificing everything to experience intimacy with the Father will always be the best decision she ever made! Read up on Jillian at jmann255.wixsite.com or follow her on IG: @jmann255