She climbed into
his lap and buried her fingers in his long, gray beard. "Grandpa,"
she squealed. "Tell me the storm story again!"
He laughed. "Honey,
I've told you that story a hundred times. And you want to hear it again?"
"Oh, yes, Grandpa!
It's my favorite story!"
The old man settled
into the story, closing his eyes to recall the details as he spoke. "It
was a regular day, just like any day, when Jesus was still here on earth
with us. He'd been teaching the crowd and so many had gathered that they
couldn't hear Him. He climbed into our boat so His voice would carry better
on the water and more people could hear what He had to say. When it started
getting late, Jesus asked us to put out across the Sea of Galilee.
"We set out for the other side, but before we knew it, the sky got
dark and the winds picked up. The waves started coming over the sides,
first from one side and then the other. We began to bail out the water
but more and more washed over the sides. I shouted for everyone to do
what they could or the boat was going to go down. I could hear Jesus'
disciples shouting out His name, but it was hard to see Him in all the
commotion. And then I saw Him, sleeping in the stern of the boat! How
anyone could sleep with the storm so bad and the boat rocking like it
was? He must have been soaked to the skin! But Peter, you know, the one
they called the big fisherman, woke Him up.
"Peter was shouting, 'We're going to die! We're sinking!' Everyone
was shouting at Jesus. The boat was rocking and the waves crashing over
the side, and everyone yelling, trying to be heard over the noise of the
storm. Oh, my! What a scene it was for Jesus to wake up to! But you know
what? He didn't even flinch. He calmly stood up and just told that old
wind and the waves to stop what they were doing and suddenly, like someone
had just blown out a candle, the sea was as smooth as it could be, not
a wave in sight."
Most of us live our
daily lives in the midst of storms. As soon as one storm passes, it seems
another is on the horizon, waiting to inundate us with waves. These storms
come from things we do wrong, things others do wrong, and just natural
circumstances. While we may have to live in a world where storms constantly
go on all around us, through Jesus we can have the ability to live in
the eye of the storm, cushioned in an envelope of peace as the winds rage
In Philippians 4:6, Paul gives us a command to "not be anxious about
anything." Since we are never given a command that we are not given
the strength to obey, God does indeed give us the wisdom to obey this
command in verses 6-9. "But in everything, by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God,
which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds
in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble,
whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if
anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. Whatever
you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me--put it into
practice. And the God of peace will be with you."
How can we find the peaceful eye of the storm in our lives? By prayer,
by asking God for help, and by thanking Him for the good things He has
done for us. But notice that Paul bases all of this on his summary verse,
teaching his readers how this peace comes to us. That eye-of-the-storm
peace comes from filling our minds with things that are true, noble, right,
pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy and by putting what
godly people have taught us into practice. In other words, when we focus
on the things of God and His characteristics, we see His provision for
all of our needs, His ability to protect us from what does not fit into
His sovereign plan and His love for us that is committed to always do
what is for our ultimate best.
As we learn these truths and learn to trust in God's character, our faith
in Him grows deeper. As our faith grows deeper, we become more spiritually
mature. As we become more spiritually mature, we step out of that storm
and into the peaceful eye, resting in His Holy Spirit without fear of
the storm that ravages those around us.
Jesus Christ continuously lived His earthly life in the eye of the storm
of humanity, and He calls us to follow Him in this as we too learn to
live in the eye of the storm. Let's take the steps necessary to step out
of the raging winds and waves and into the peaceful arms of our loving