From a Storm to a Whisper
by Mary Southerland
He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed (Psalm 107:29, NIV).
We live in Kansas City where summers normally include some pretty fierce thunderstorms. Our young grandson Justus is not a fan. The driving rain, loud thunder and often violent lightning frighten him. We have tried to reassure Justus with such logical explanations as the thunder is nothing more than God rearranging the furniture in heaven and lightning is the angels setting off fireworks. I know. He didn’t buy our explanations either.
We normally keep…
…Justus one night a week to give his mom and dad a little break and to get our “Justus” fix. He is a little hunk of joy that lights up the world and makes you feel like you are the most important part of that world. After picking him up for our weekly date, we headed home but got caught in a torrential downpour. As the thunder boomed and the lightning cracked, Justus put both hands over his ears, hoping to shut out the frightening sound of the summer storm. Dan and I kept reassuring Justus that the storm would pass. Dan said, “Mimi and Papa are right here with you, Buddy. It’s okay!” It was not okay with Justus. In total frustration, he turned to his Papa and exclaimed, “Papa. Do something! Can’t you pwease turn down the stowm?”
I have often prayed that same prayer. “God, can You please turn down the storm in my life? Can’t You make the thunderous chaos go away? And the flashing pain is so hard to handle, Lord. I am scared!”
I have a friend who loves to sail. When I asked him if he had ever been caught in a bad storm, he responded, “Many times!” I shook my head in disbelief concluding that my friend was obviously a glutton for punishment. Of course, I had to ask, “Then why on earth do you keep sailing?” His answer was profound. “Mary, every sailor knows that there will be storms. You just learn what to do when the storm hits. In a severe storm, there is only one thing to do and only one way to survive. You have to put the ship in a certain position and keep her there.”
The same is true in our lives. When the fierce storms of life overwhelm us, there is only one thing to do if we want to survive those storms. We must position ourselves in the right place – in the hands of God – and He will keep us there until the storm has passed.
The words of the psalmist are filled with confidence and hope when he writes, “He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed” (Psalm 107:29). We really can trust God to bring peace and to reduce the fiercest storm to a mere whisper.
The faithful provision and sustaining comfort of God at work in our life depends on the character and heart of God and our willingness to trust Him.
I love my children with all of my heart. Naturally, there are times when they make me very angry. They make wrong choices and sometimes even disappoint me, but if they are hurt, sick or in trouble, the anger, disappointment and even disobedience is overruled by my love for them and a driving need to comfort them. If my imperfect heart responds to my imperfect children that way, think about how the perfect heart of our heavenly Father responds to us.
Richard Fuller writes: “This, Christian, is what you must do. Sometimes, like Paul, you can see neither sun nor stars, and no small tempest lies on you. Reason cannot help you. Past experiences give you no light. Only a single course is left. You must stay upon the Lord; and come what may — winds, waves, cross seas, thunder, lightning, frowning rocks, roaring breakers — no matter what, you must lash yourself to the helm and hold fast your confidence in God’s faithfulness and his everlasting love in Christ Jesus.”
We can face every storm with confidence, knowing that God will redeem it for good. We can trust few things in this life, but God’s faithfulness is one of them. When the hard times come, and the storms roll in, trust God and hold on. He is with you.
Mary Southerland is an author, international speaker, Founder of Journey Ministry, and Co-founder of Girlfriends in God. Her books include, Hope in the Midst of Depression, Sandpaper People, Escaping the Stress Trap, Experiencing God’s Power in Your Ministry, Trusting God and Knowing God by Name.