Footsteps in Faith: Faith provides inner peace during the roughest storm

| February 2, 2017 | 0 Comments
Spicer

Spicer

Chap. (Maj.) Erik Spicer
United States Army
Garrison-Hawaii
Sometimes the sea of life is rough. The wind is strong. The waves are high.
Our boat is taking on water and sinking. We all know what that is like.

Each of us could tell a storm story. Some of our stories will begin with a phone call, a doctor’s visit or news we did not want to hear. Some will start with the choices we have made, our mistakes and our sins. Others will tell about the difficulty of relationships, hopes and plans that fell apart, or the struggle to grow up and find our way.

Some storms arise out of nowhere and take us by surprise. Others build and brew as we watch.

Regardless of when or how they arise, storms are about changing conditions. Life is overwhelming and out of control.

In Mark 4:38, the disciples are quick to make the storm they were going through on the Sea of Galilea about Jesus.

“Do you not care that we are perishing?” they said, and we’ve probably all echoed their words in the storms of our lives.

Footsteps in Faith“Do something. Fix it. Make it better,” they added, because in the midst of the storm, Jesus seemed absent, passive, uncaring. How could he sleep at a time like this? Sleeping Jesus was not what they or we want.

The calm that Jesus consumes in his sleep is the example. It says this is not a situation worth the energy; it is temporary.

A sleeping Jesus is in the same boat and the same storm as the disciples; the same water surrounds him as the disciples, blown by the same wind, beaten by the same waves.

His response, however, is different. While disciples fret and worry, he sleeps. His sleep reveals that the greater storm and the real threat are not the winds, waves and water around us, not the circumstances in which we find ourselves. The real storm is the one that churns and rages within us.

That storm within is the one that blows us off course, beats against our faith and threatens to drown us. Fear, vulnerability and powerlessness blow within us. The sense of abandonment, the unknown, the judgment, the criticism of others and ourselves are the waves that pound us.

Too often anger, isolation, cynicism or denial becomes our shelter from the storm.

“Peace! Be still!” Jesus speaks to the wind and the sea. Jesus isn’t changing the weather as much as inviting the disciples to change. He’s speaking to the wind and the waves within them.

The disciples have been pointing to what is going on outside them. Jesus now points to what is going on inside them and says, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?”

Jesus’ words are more about us than the circumstances of our lives, the storms we meet. Faith, more faith, better faith, stronger faith, the right kind of faith does not eliminate the storms of our lives. Faith does not change the storm. It changes us.

Faith does not take us around the storm but through the storm. Faith allows us to see and know that Jesus is there with us. Faith is what allows us to be still, to be peaceful, in the midst of the storm. It means we do not have to internalize the storm.

The Spirit of God blows through and within us more mightily than the winds of any storm. The power of God is stronger than any wave that beats against us. The love of God is deeper than any water that threatens to drown us.

In every storm, Jesus is present and his response is always the same: “Peace! Be still!”
(Editor’s note: Spicer is the USAG-HI chaplain resources manager.) 

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Category: Standing Columns

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