Tag Archives: storm

The Tempest

JusJoJan 7 January

Image from Pixabay

When I think of a tempest, I think of two occasions when Jesus calmed a storm. The first can be found in Matthew 14:13-44. It was a very emotional day for Jesus. He had heard of the death of John the Baptist and wanted to get away by himself. The crowds followed Him and He ended up feeding five thousand men plus women and children. He sent the disciples away in a boat while He dismissed the crowd. Later, He walked on the water towards them. Peter got out of the boat and walked towards Jesus but when he looked at the storm, his faith failed. As they got into the boat, the storm died down.

The other story can be found in Matthew 8.

Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, ‘Lord, save us! we’re going to drown!’ He replied, ‘You of little faith, why are you so afraid?’ Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.” (verses 24-26 NIV)

It is interesting to me to notice that, in a party including four seasoned fishermen, who understood storms and were experts at managing boats, they should see fit to wake a carpenter to help them.

These stories are among those I like to use for a Biblical meditation.

I read through the story slowly, maybe reading it a second time out loud.

Then I get comfortable, concentrate on breathing deeply and try to imagine myself as one of the characters in the story, perhaps one of the crowd who stayed behind after Jesus dismissed them, or a disciple, maybe the one commissioned to wake the sleeping Jesus.

I invoke all of my senses if I can. I try to feel the wind around me or the grass under me or, if my character is in the boat, the pitching of the waves. What do I see, hear, smell, taste?

I imagine a moment when Jesus and I are alone together. What does He say to me? What do I reply? He gives me something to remind me of our time together.

Some people are helped or encouraged by such a meditation, others not so much. I encourage you to try it, especially if you are in the midst of a tempest. I’d love to hear your feedback about how you experienced it.

My Prayer

Lord Jesus, thank you for my imagination. Please help me to use it to get closer to you. Amen.

Stormy Weather

We’ve all been hearing about Cyclone Eloise recently. Across Southern Africa at least 15 people have died, including two from South Africa.

It reminds me of the Covid pandemic. It sweeps across the world leaving death in its wake.

There were storms in the Bible too. Elijah was on a mountain and experienced wind strong enough to break rocks, an earthquake and a fire but the Lord was not in any of these natural disasters. God was in the aftermath – in a still, small voice. ( 1 Kings 19)

The disciples were in a boat in the eye of a storm that they, experienced fishermen, thought might kill them. They woke Jesus. I don’t imagine they woke him at the first sign of the storm or when they thought they could cope on their own. It was only when things were out of their control that they called to Him.

The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. (Matthew 8:25-26 NIV)

We are in the midst of a Covid storm. Maybe we think we can cope. Let’s not wait until we are out of our depth to call on Jesus. He’s not sleeping. He is only a whisper away. He has the power and the authority to still any storm.

My Prayer

Lord Jesus, all around me is uncertainty, fear and confusion. Please still the raging anxiety in my heart and bring me peace. Amen.

This post is part of JusJoJan.

What do you do?

What do you do when Jesus sends you out in a boat to face a storm while He disappears up a mountain? (Matthew 14:21-25)

Image by Gerhard Bögner from Pixabay

You trim the sails, row furiously, bail water and trust.

This post is part of One-Liner Wednesday.

In the Valley

I read an excellent blog today. I wish I had written it. Have a look.

We can look at different metaphors for hard times. We are in the midst of a storm. We are walking through the Valley of the Shadow of Death.

In both cases, it is something we get through and out the other end. At some stage we will reach dry land. At some stage we will move out of the shadowy valley to the sunshine of the hills.

Psalm 23 says,

The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet water, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Image by Xpics from Pixabay

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. (NIV)

The important thing, is that Jesus is with us. He’s in our boat if we are in a storm, He’s walking beside us if we are on a hiking trail through a dark and scary valley. The King James Version talks about the Valley of the Shadow of Death. In a way, this current pandemic is a shadow of death. Some people have died. 10 000 out of a world population of 7 700 000 000 or 1 in 770 000.

We will get through this. This, too, will pass.