We’re told in our text that Jesus climbed into the boat and calmed the storm. We know how violent storms can be. Not too long ago we had a storm pass through our area. The blown-over tree just down the road is a testament to the ferocity of the storm. I heard winds reached a speed of almost seventy miles per hour.
Imagine Jesus calming the winds of that storm with just a few words. One minute the storm is blowing at seventy miles an hour and the next minute there is nothing but calm. Hard to fathom, but Jesus did just that in our text. He amazed the disciples by commanding the winds to die down.
This must have made an impact on them. They must of have come to the conclusion that Jesus can control everything. Nothing is too powerful for Him. He is Lord and Master of the universe. Look, He put nature in its place.
We humans have tried to do what Jesus did. If only we could control the weather. Man has invented machines to create snow for ski hills, to cause it to rain in some places, and to imitate the wind. But man’s attempts to control the weather are nothing compared to what Jesus did in our text. Jesus controls everything, even mother nature. No matter how big the storm, Jesus could easily calm it—just like that.
What about the storms in our lives? Do we experience violent, ferocious storms that sweep over us? You bet we do. Often times, we’re straining to push forward, just as the disciples did when they were out on the open sea. They made little progress. We realize that we make little progress when we try to battle the storms in our lives all by ourselves.
Perhaps some of us are asking ourselves, "What storms is pastor talking about?" Well, let me give us some examples. What about the loss of a loved one? It can be quite traumatic to lose someone close. Try fighting that storm by yourself.
What about health issues? Sometimes it seems they will never end. Instead of getting better, we get worse, and we don’t know how long it’s going to last. We may recover; we may not. How are we going to live if we don’t? Are we going to make it?
What about trying to find our place in life, the world, in our community? Trying to figure out what God wants us to in life can take its toll on our mental and spiritual health. Some people go through a stormy period in their lives as they search for peace and contentment.
What about the temptations of the devil? He’s out to destroy us. We’re overcome with waves of temptations to sin. Maybe in these storms we have found ourselves turning our backs on Jesus.
These are the storms in our lives I’m talking about. And there are many more. Our lives are full of storms. The truth is we can’t stop them by ourselves.
I’m sure the disciples came to the realization that there was no possible way they could control the storm in which they found themselves. The wind was blowing hard. Perhaps there was torrential rain as well. Needless to say, they knew they were at the mercy of the storm. How would they fare? What would happen to them? These questions were possibly in their minds.
But then Jesus appeared. At first, they thought they had seen a ghost. People don’t walk on water. But Jesus drew near to them. As a matter of fact, He climbed into their boat and saved them. Ghosts don’t do that sort of thing.
Perhaps we feel the same way, powerless to control the storms of life in which we find ourselves. We’re tossed to and fro. There doesn’t seem to be any end in sight. But then Jesus draws near to us. He comes to us in His Word and Sacraments. We’re given His peace and the assurance He is close by. As a matter of fact, He comes to us in our storms so that we aren’t alone. Our storms, then, are no longer unbearable. Jesus is in our midst. He calms the storms in our lives. They may not disappear all at once, but they do lessen in intensity and eventually go away.
He certainly calmed the storm of guilt in our lives. Wrongdoing causes guilt in our hearts. Sometimes the guilt we experience is so overwhelming that we don’t know how God could ever forgive us. We’re consumed by the storm of guilt. But Jesus died on the cross to take that guilt away from us. And that is how He calms the storm of guilt in our lives. It’s His death and resurrection that forgives us so that we don’t have to continue to hang on to our guilt. We don’t have to go on living with the storm of guilt or thinking that Jesus isn’t powerful enough to forgive us. The storm of guilt is one storm that we don’t have to live with.
Jesus is the answer to all of life’s storms. I would encourage us to always turn to Him. He can calm any problem or difficulty we may be facing. Jesus isn’t some useless theory or teaching or doctrine. He is our living Savior, who is involved in people’s lives. He wants to help us.
Jesus could have walked by the disciples that day when the storm was unleashing its fury. He could have kept on going to the other side. But He cared for them and climbed into the boat. He cares for us as well. He climbs into our hearts and lives.
Please, don’t think that because we can’t see Jesus, He isn’t involved in our lives and doesn’t care about us. "How could this Jesus whom we don’t see possibly be thinking about us and help us?" My relatives, who live some distance from me, don’t see me. Does that mean that I don’t exist and that I’m not praying for them and wishing them the best? Let’s not make the criterion of being able to see something validate the truth of something. Just because we can’t see Jesus doesn’t mean He doesn’t exist and isn’t helping us. He’s calming the storms of our lives.
I’m sure many of us would agree that life on this earth is a storm that is becoming more and more ferocious as time goes on. The recent Supreme Court decision on homosexual marriage, the spread of fanatical Islam, the lack of morals, legalized abortion, and so on and so on, mean that the wind is picking up, and we Christians are going to struggle more at the oars as we fight the wind. But take heart, Jesus is coming to calm the storm. Once He destroys and eradicates evil forever, we will enjoy God’s eternal peace. No more storms to battle. Jesus will come and take us home to Himself.
In the meantime, however, I pray that the Holy Spirit will give us the strength to persevere in the storms of life, whatever they may happen to be. We can’t give up. We can’t succumb to the temptation to give up on Jesus.
I pray that we won’t give up on Jesus. If we do, how can we expect any of the storms we face to become calm? They can’t without Jesus in our lives. May the Holy Spirit keep us steadfast in the faith. May He keep us calm in the midst of the storms of life.