That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
Over the last week, the eastern part of our state of North Carolina was ravaged by Hurricane Florence. The news began to portray the images of the category 4 storm heading straight for our shores almost a week before it actually hit the coast. Everyone began to make preparations for their homes and for physical needs if there was a loss of power, water and food supplies.
It became a waiting game as the storm changed course and speed as it approached. The storm brought with it unsettling feelings and even fear for some, caused by the inability to know or control what the outcome would be.
This reminded me of the story in the Bible found in Mark 4: 35-41 telling of the tumultuous storm that came upon Him and His disciples while out in a boat heading to a distant shore.
The disciples were immediately afraid and called upon Jesus to help them. He immediately rebuked the wind and the waves with His command of “Quiet, Be still.” The winds died down and it became calm. He then asked the disciples why they were afraid and why they still were without faith. This challenged me as I spent many hours praying about the coming storm and for safety and provision for all who would be affected by it. As rumors began about the mandatory evacuation of our neighborhood, I began asking God for the faith to believe all would be well. Then Sunday morning arrived, and as I took the first sip of my morning coffee I began to hear the police shout through their bullhorns that a mandatory evacuation was under way and we had until 3pm to evacuate our homes. The thought came to mind of so many who had already evacuated from the cities along the coast — none of us sure of what was to come.
Uncertainty in our lives is when we must remember the outcome of the storm in Mark 4. Jesus is the only one who can calm the storms in our lives by keeping our focus on Him. He stills our unsettled hearts. As we look to Him, He helps us to remember He is trustworthy no matter the circumstances we may be facing. Circumstances out of our control like Hurricane Florence.
May we each be reminded to be grateful for the things in our lives today we often take for granted and chose to help those in need today as they recover from this devastating storm.
Thankfully, after only one night away, we were allowed to return with no damage to our home or neighborhood. My family and I are safe, and we are grateful for the Lord’s protection.