The Storm Within

“Jesus … rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’” (Mark 4:39)

Have you ever been in a storm? It can be scary, especially if it blows up fast and you’re outside in a vulnerable place. We tell our kids to avoid getting caught outside in a storm, but it can happen to any of us.

Some storms don’t come with lightning and thunder. We can also encounter scary weather in our lives. Bad things in our work, our family, our friendships, or our parish may blow up suddenly and leave us wondering what comes next. We may feel vulnerable and unsafe in the middle of the storm, especially when we realize our own strength is no match for the threat we’re facing. The storm is beyond our control, and we don’t know what to do.

The fishermen in the boat with Jesus that evening were frightened and confused. The windstorm blew up, the waves beat into the boat, and it was being swamped. The evening probably didn’t start out that way. A crowd had gathered around Jesus, and he set out to cross to the other side of the sea. Then he went to sleep. It seemed peaceful. But the disciples panicked when the windstorm arose, and you can hear their fear in the urgency of what they say to Jesus: “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” (Mark 4:38).

Jesus pointed them away from fear to faith, and he does the same for us when we face the storms that have blown up in our own lives. We’re not alone in the face of any threat. If the threats we face seem more powerful than any resistance we can offer, we can still trust in the power of our Lord, who is with us and available.

Instead of living in fear, we can live in faith. The storm will pass. The help we need is here, and we may find it more readily as we stop wringing our hands in desperation. If we can be still and listen, we’ll hear more than the storm. We may even find that the biggest storm was always inside us, and that our fear was the biggest obstacle and threat. If we listen, we’ll hear our Lord, who is with us. He speaks to us, “Peace! Be still!”

Look it Up

See James Edmeston’s hymn text, “Lead us, heavenly Father, lead us” (Hymn 559).

Think About It

When have you felt overwhelmed? What storms have you experienced? How did faith make a difference for you in the storm? How did you find Christ present?


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