New Zealand stormOur dear friends in New Zealand who own Treetops Estates told me about a terrible 50-year storm that almost sent a portion their world-class lodge from its hillside perch into the valley below. In May, a tremendous storm hit the “Land of the Great White Cloud” and smothered the North Island with so much rain that it closed many facilities, highways, and impacted some beautiful resorts. Fortunately, the lodge was spared, but about a hundred dump-truck-loads of material will need to be replaced around the foundation. Hearing about their situation reminded me of a story in the New Testament.

The New Living Testament has a wonderful description about the story of Jesus calming the storms as recorded for us in Mark 4. A fierce storm caused very high waves that frightened even seasoned fishermen/sailors let alone some meek disciples. “Frantically they woke Him (Jesus) up, shouting, ‘Teacher don’t you even care that we are going to drown?’ When He woke up, He rebuked the wind and said to the water, ‘Quiet down!’ Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. And He asked them, ‘Why are you so afraid? Do you still not have faith in me?’”

This story illustrates how God is with us and in control even during the most desperate of circumstances. Although Jesus was with them, they thought He was oblivious to the severity of their situation. Jesus used this incident to teach the disciples (and us) at least three important lessons.

Jesus Is Aware of Your Situation
Christ, being human, needed His physical rest, but He was fully aware of the disciples’ concern. The moment one of them cried out Christ was there to deal with, his problem. As believers, we can be assured that God is always with us even if we think we are alone.

Jesus Will Answer Your Call for Help
Often Christ will let us reach a point of desperation, so we will recognize our need for dependence upon His mercy and grace. It is when we come to the end of ourselves that we realize “He is on board” and willing to set a course that guides us to a better place.

The Presence of Jesus Assures Us that We Can Make It Through the Trial
At one time or another, we will all face disappointment, trials, hardships, and even depression. But only the child of God has the promise that His presence is with us in the midst of the storm. He is with us at the beginning of our journey and at the end. He doesn’t promise us smooth sailing but a safe passage.

Dear Friend, whatever your struggle, whatever your plight, whatever your challenge – Jesus is with you. Let Him take over the rudder of the spiritual ship. He will guide and direct you to a safe passage.

Personal Application
In Psalms 18:4-6 David calls out in his distress to the Eternal God. Our cries to Him reach His ears. What is your plight? Have you shared it with God?

The Psalmist tell us, “The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” (Ps. 118:6) Meditate on this verse and release your anxiety and fears to Him who is able.

Jim Grassi, D. Min.