“It will be a shelter from daytime heat and a hiding place from storms and rain.” – Isaiah 4:6.
On December 26, 2004, a massive earthquake struck off the coast of Sumatra. The resulting series of tsunamis killed an estimated 230,000 people, mostly in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand, and displaced almost 1.7 million. Witnesses to tsunamis report they make a roaring sound as they approach, similar to the sound of a freight train or a jet airplane as the wall of water hits the coast.This is the backdrop for the movie The Impossible.
This movie depicts real life in that sometimes it is sunny and then in the next moment the wind rises, the sky darkens, and we find ourselves in the midst of a terrible storm. Obviously most of us will never experience a storm the magnitude of the 2004 tsunami from the film, but sooner or later we will all experience storms in our lives. Maybe you are in the midst of a storm right now. By that I mean, are you facing some kind of crisis or unexpected tragedy? Maybe you are at your wit’s end. Or maybe you are losing hope.
I would encourage you to first, trust God. Be confident that in a storm, that Jesus is with us. In a previous stormy trip across the Sea of Galilee (Mark 4:35-41), Jesus was with them in the storm. However, this second time He was alone on the land praying. The disciples were left to fend for themselves (or so they thought) against the raging storm. Jesus was teaching them to live by faith.
Many times in difficult situations we feel a closeness to Jesus. However, other times we just feel like He has abandoned us. We feel forsaken. These are times we must trust in His presence. The fact is He will never leave us nor forsake us. He will take us to our intended destination in life.
The other thing to consider, and it is not easy to do in a storm, is to remember that storms can help us see our self and Jesus better. Sometimes God lets us come to the end of our human resources in order to get our attention. Those who quit relying on self, and start to have confidence in God, will discover storms to be more manageable. It is in the middle of the storm that you meet God. Jesus comes in our most desperate moments. If we know that He is personally present with us we can face the storms of life. It is in those times Jesus comes to us, just when we’re swamped and going down and says cheerfully, “Don’t be afraid,”… “Take courage. I am here!” (Matthew 14:27) As soon as we cry for help, we will feel His hand holding us.
Jesus did not promise smooth sailing. But, I would rather be in a storm with Jesus than anywhere else without Him. So, if you are in a storm of life, my advice to you is to remember that Jesus will “get you to the other side.” He will not abandon you or let you down. You have His Word on it. For He Himself has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” (Hebrews 13:5).
- Describe a time when your life was hit with an unexpected storm. How well did you endure it? What did you do when you felt like giving up? Did you experience God’s comfort during that period?
- What have you learned about God and yourself through the storms in your life?
- What helped Maria and Lucas make the right decision to help others? How can you change your thinking to let those factors move you to comfort others?
- Look around to see if there is someone in your life who is going through a storm in their life, and make a list of actions you can take to be a source of help, encouragement and strength. Then do those things this week.