For most of my Christian life I have thought the biggest goal in prayer was to get the storms in my life calmed down—you know, like Jesus did for the disciples on the Sea of Galilee. I think differently now.
A few months ago I began preparing to teach a Bible study titled “Experiencing Peace.” Apparently, God thought I needed the opportunity to live what I was about to teach. In the past two months there have been, not one, not two, but three huge storms arise on the sea of my life. And when I say huge, I mean really B-I-G!
Remember the story of Peter walking on water?1 I can easily find myself in that story, but instead of walking on the water with Peter, you’ll find me hanging onto the boat for dear life along with the other eleven disciples. They unexpectedly found themselves in the middle of the sea, tossed about by huge waves and contrary winds. Yep, that describes my life for the past few months.
Before the first lesson of the study was ever taught, the Lord told me He was going to teach me something new. You see, I had been out on that troubled sea before where the massive waves and contrary winds blew up unexpectedly and almost took me under. I thought I had learned some great faith-saving techniques from that previous experience that I could share with others. God had something else in mind.
Here is that something else: God doesn’t have to calm the storm in order to give His child peace in the storm. How many of us have thought the best answer for any of our storms was for God to remove it?
If we look at the life of our Savior, we’ll find that the Father didn’t always remove the storms in His life; in fact, I don’t believe He removed any of them. And when Jesus was about to face the severest of all storms—the cross—He prayed, that if it were His Father’s will, this storm would be removed. But then He did something remarkable: He gave His Father permission to leave it there.2
We now know that God had a bigger purpose for that storm than calming it—our very own redemption, mine and yours, were wrapped up in the center that storm. It was completely necessary for Jesus to endure it; and He did. And I am certain that Jesus had peace in the midst of that storm!
Before facing the cross, Jesus had told His disciples that He was giving them His peace—the kind of peace that can be experienced right smack-dab in the middle of the fiercest storm, even one with ginormous waves and winds.3 Apparently, it worked for Him.
The song writer of Who Am I, recorded by Casting Crowns in 2003, got it right.4 These lyrics suggest something we can ask God to do for us in the middle of our storm: “Who am I that the voice that calmed the sea, would call out through the rain, and calm the storm in me?”
Our first step to attaining peace is found in giving God our permission to do whatever He deems best in any set of circumstances. Our prayer might sound like this: Dear Father, I ask you to calm this storm; but if that is not your will, then I ask you to calm me. It is then left up to God to do whatever He chooses. That, my friend, is called trust.
One of my three personal storms has now come and gone, uneventful I might add. The other two are presently calm; yet I know another storm can blow up at any moment. Storms are like that.
The issue here is how you and I will face our next storm. Can we trust our Father like Jesus did and leave the outcome in His hands? If so, we have already found a place of peace and rest. ~ Janie Kellogg
Key Quote: Leave yourself open to the circumstances of His choice, for this is perfect acceptance and rest in the will of God. If you do so, you are not a fool—you are in the company of the brave! For accepting the will of God in this way, “You became imitators of us,” Paul writes, “and of the Lord.”4 ~ Amy Carmichael
1Matthew 14:22-33; 2Matthew 26:39; 3John 14:27; 4John Mark Hall; 5Amy Carmichael, You Are My Hiding Place, Bethany House Publishers, Bloomington, MN, 1991, Page 77
4 thoughts on “Calm the Storm or Calm Me”
Thank you for commenting on my latest post. God’s blessings to you today. ~ Janie
Janie, this came at the most perfect time for me. As I bent over today my back went out. July was a stressful month for me and I thought oh no Lord, not this! I have been down and out for several weeks with this and had to crawl to get around. I am using a walker to roll to the bathroom. I just wanted you to know that I sent this to many who are in the storm and they all responded with such gratitude for sending this to them. I just wanted you to know that your suffering has helped many. I am praying that God is providing for all your needs as you face many things that He already knows about and is filtered thru his fingertips of love. Thank you for always allowing God to use you and your circumstances to be an example for us to see the bigger picture. You are are a treasure to my heart and u thank God for you! God pecks the keys as you type away. This was so so good today. I know I say that every time, but it always is right on time! Bless you as you reach people that you don’t even know. I am not even sure that this will get back to you but since I’ve been off fb since July 3, I don’t know how to contact you to let you know. Praying sister! Hope you are resting in His arms of love. Proverbs 3:5-6
Love you the MOSTEREST! Rom 12:1-2 Carla Young
Sorry for such a late response. It’s been a wild summer. How true that God does not always calm the storm! I had a huge storm in my life at one time. God did not calm the storm. However, right in the midst of it, He let me feel the most indescribable peace that I have ever felt. Because of that wonderful peace, I knew everything would be all right. I’m just using that experience to show that it is absolutely true. God can give you a total calm right in the midst of the most brutal storm. Jesus is in our boat and he has power over those waters!