Caught in the Storm Devotional

Caught in the Storm

Julia Bettencourt

Posted August 12, 2008


Have you ever been caught in a storm?  Stormy weather can cause some very intense feelings and reactions in us.


1   Stormy Weather Can Cause Fear.


In Matthew 14:22-33 is the story of Peter walking on the water.  To set the scene, a storm came up while the disciples were in a ship and they were afraid when they saw Jesus walking on the water toward them.

Jesus told them Who He was and then Peter, one of the disciples walked on the water too—well, at first.  When Peter looked around and saw the storm, he was afraid.

Maybe you are in a storm in your life too.  It's natural to be afraid.  Here's Peter, one of the disciples who learned at Jesus' feet and even he was afraid, but look what it says in Matthew 14:31 after Peter began to sink and called out to Christ.

And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

I know when we study this verse we usually focus on the "little faith" part but I think that first part of the verse deserves to be focused on as well.  Jesus immediately reached out His hand and caught Peter.  When we call on Jesus, He's there for us.  I also love that next verse in the chapter (vs. 31).

And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.

Did you notice that?  Jesus caught Peter and was with him until they were come to the ship.  It doesn't say that Jesus stopped the storm and then they went to the ship.  It says that when they reached the ship, that the wind ceased.

Sometimes we are going to have to go through the storm.  Sometimes the Lord will take the storm away, but other times we have to weather it out.  Aren't you glad that Jesus is there to weather it out with us?

Another part of that story that I think is interesting is the fact that Jesus is the One that sent His disciples to the ship and told them to meet Him on the other side of the water in the first place.  Look what we find when we go back up to verse 22 of that chapter.

And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side,  while he sent the multitudes away.  Matthew 14:22

Jesus knew His disciples were going to be in that boat when the storm came up.  He sent them there.  We may question why the Lord tells us to do something or where He has sent us, or even the things that we have to deal with because it may not be smooth sailing.

We may question why the Lord is causing storms in our lives when all we want to do is to serve Him and obey Him.

This story shows me that sometimes we can be right where God wants us—right where He told us to go—right in the center of His will and we can still have some storms come up.  What we can take comfort in is the fact that the Lord knows all about those storms and He's there with us through them.



2   Stormy Weather Can Cause Worry.


In Mark 4:35-41, the disciples were out on the water in a boat again.  This time Jesus was with them.  As a matter of fact, in this story, Jesus was sleeping.  A storm comes up on the water, and the disciples began to worry that they were going to die.

The wind was blowing.  The ship they were in was full of water and they were worried about their safety.  The disciples went to Jesus and woke Him up and basically asked Him if He cared if they died or not.

And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?

And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still.  And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful?  how is it that ye have no faith?   Mark 4:38-40


It's so easy to question God's care when we have that water rushing in on us and we feel like we can't keep our head up above it.  What's so sweet is that we can give those worries right over to the Lord because we know He's the one that is capable of calming our waters and our storm.

We can have that faith in Him because He is always in control whether we can see it from our view or not.



3   Stormy Weather Can Cause Change.


The story of Noah's Ark is found in Genesis 6-9.  Noah definitely had some raindrops falling down all around him and God was wonderful in preparing a way for Noah and his family to escape the flood.

We always hear about that provision part of the story and it is a wonderful story of God's plan and protection.  But can you just imagine what it must have been like after God safely carried them through the flood and for Noah's family to step off the boardwalk of that ark and look around and realize that they were the last ones standing?

Talk about change!  Everything they had ever known was different.  Their lifestyle would be different.  The land and earth itself was different.  The whole make up of the entire world as they knew it was different.  All their friends and all the people they had ever known aside from their family was gone.  Personally, I think I would have had a hard time adjusting.

Change can be rough.  Maybe someone we've known is diagnosed with an illness or we've had a death of a loved one, or maybe we've moved across the country and left all of our friends and family behind.

Sometimes the rain falls on our lives and the storms come up and rage for a time and after a while the storm quiets down or comes to a standstill and we stop and look around and there is all this change.  

Then that change sets in.  Not to say that change is always bad.  Sometimes it strengthens us and improves our lives, but that isn't to say that it's always easy for us to go through.

Change brings about a difference in our routines and even the little things along with the big things are not the same anymore and it can affect us.

I'm so glad I have the Lord to lean on at times like that.  I know when I'm feeling that change that comes with the storms that there's always something that God can show me to remind me that He's still there.  For Noah He gave that reminder in the form of a rainbow.

And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God  and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.  Genesis 9:16

I may not look up and see a big colorful rainbow in the sky.  It may be that I have to actively look for that reminder of God's love.  I may have to search God's Word, dwell on His promises, and seek Him in prayer, but in the end, He'll give me that rainbow of comfort.  The Lord will let me know that He is still in control.



Conclusion:

I know stormy weather is going to come to all of us in some form or another but I hope that I can remember to focus on Christ and how He takes us through those storms with His love and care.


I want to be "caught"  like Peter by the Lord and allow Him to take me through because believe me, I know I can't walk on water.  Only the Lord can take me through the stormy weather.

So, how are you weathering your storms?


Copyright ©2008 Julia Bettencourt
Scripture References are from the King James Version.
www.juliabettencourt.com


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