When the Storm Comes Rolling In

“And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea…” Matthew 8: 23-24.


I stood with my feet in the water staring as the ocean swirled around my feet. The waves were calm that day- the sun shining. It had been a year since I last stood there and so much had changed. 

The laughter and voices of the beach behind me faded as I stared out to sea … lost in the memories of what was: The loss of my mom in the recent past months, the increase of uncontrolled seizures in my 20-year-old daughter, the graduation of my youngest with honors and her soon-to-be exodus as she leaves for college, the joy of a wedding to plan as my oldest got engaged, and the ending of a 10-year career for myself. I could barely move as the pull of the tides sunk my feet deeper in the sand. 

The ocean in the Bible always represents chaos. It is the image of uncontrolled and intense confusion. The Jews were not a seafaring people and often saw the sea as an enemy or representative of death. The waves the last year that had pounded me were intense and unforgiving. The fear that they brought with them were a constant presence.

When the disciples followed Jesus into the boat in Matthew 8 I truly doubt they thought they would soon be facing one of the greatest storms they’ve ever seen. The trip started off fine but, “behold there arose a great storm on the sea.”

How many of us have days that start just fine but end up with billowing clouds on the horizon by lunch? We don’t have time for this. Agitation and stress at the beginning quickly lead to worry and fear as the rising tides continue. Until our day is a full blown mess.

“Save us Lord; we are perishing,” the disciples shouted. And Jesus replied, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then Jesus in his in wonderful mercy and awesome power, “rose and rebuked the winds and the sea and there was a great calm.” And how did the disciples respond? In awe of him. “They marveled” the bible tells us. They marveled. 

With my feet stuck now about 6 inches deep in the sand I find myself marveling. In awe of who He is, of where He has brought me, and through the storms and where is He is continually leading me. Though calm today, the clouds will return, and I will continue to get in the boat, trusting that the One who is with me is always greater than the storms that will come. 

Jesus –Fill us with courage in and through the storms. And when you bring us through the other side may our hearts always marvel and give you gratitude and praise for the amazing God that you are and all that you are doing in us.



Hard TimesSarah Witmer