We have just experienced an incredible rain deluge in the Carolinas along the Southeastern coast of the United States. According to the National Weather Service, one area of downtown Columbia, South Carolina, received nearly 17 inches of rain in 17 hours, and it was still raining. This rain was not the result of a hurricane or tornado, but the rain came from storm systems that collided and hovered over the area, dumping multiple inches of rain per hour.
Storms are not uncommon – we know that, and we depend on the rain to provide fresh water for the animals, including us, to drink and to provide water to irrigate the vegetation on our world, thereby providing food for us. Indeed, without water, we would be in real trouble, to say the least.
Even though storms are an everyday experience, even heading directly into a storm is frightening! The power that the storm unleashes is awesome and can be unnerving. The howling wind and driving rain, along with lightning and thunder, create anxiety if not outright fear in our hearts. Severe storms occur over land and over the seas, their power is fearsome and their scope is immense.
Scripture tells us that God created the heavens and the earth, including the ocean or sea.
“And God said, ‘Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.’ And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.” Genesis 1:9-10 [ESV].
In Psalms 24:1-2, David says: “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him. For he laid the earth’s foundation on the seas and built it on the ocean depths.” [NLT]
Jesus illustrates His power throughout the Gospels of Scripture, but one of the stories that I often think of is recorded in the Gospel of Mark, chapter 4. Jesus and his disciples were crossing to the other side of the sea.
A violent storm overtook them; in fact, it was so severe that Mark says that the waves beat into the boat so that it was full! Although I am not a marine expert, even I can understand that the situation Mark described was dire! Imagine being in that boat, with the wind howling, the waves churning and the boat filling up with water. The expert fishermen‐now‐turned‐disciples were afraid for their very lives. This was no ordinary storm – it was fierce, they were afraid.
Jesus, on the other hand, was sleeping – no fear here! When the disciples woke Him in their wide‐eyed fear, Jesus stood up and ordered the sea to be still.
“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.” Mark 4:39. [KJV]
While I would have screamed at the sea, Jesus simply spoke and nature had its marching orders. Jesus essentially said “that’s enough.” He didn’t flail around waving His arms and stomping his feet. He was, at all times, in control. He simply spoke the words and directed the sea to “be still”.
It is encouraging to me to note that the sea’s response was not delayed until the storm naturally dissipated or moved away from the water. Further, the directive was not ignored. Jesus was in control: He spoke and the sea obeyed, immediately.
Notwithstanding the miracles Jesus had consistently been demonstrating, Scripture says that the disciples asked each other “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey Him!” Mark 4:41. [NIV] Of course, the answer to their question is that Jesus is the Creator, the One in whom we have our being, He is the Word made flesh, and He is our Savior.
When I look at the deluge of rain the Carolinas experienced this week, I am reminded that my Savior is Lord over all. He is sovereign, even over storms. I don’t know why this one attacked so fiercely, but I do believe that God is with those affected by the storm, and He will enable, sustain and encourage them if they turn to Him through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
The storms and seas of this world, with their incredible expanse and surpassing power, obey Jesus’ voice. And He, through His Holy Spirit, is with me in every circumstance — His voice that calmed the sea will calm my own heart and fears. Whatever flood overwhelms me, whether it be water, problems, illness, finances or circumstance, my Lord is in control.
Trust Him ‐‐ even when you feel that your boat is sinking! His voice is still powerful! He can still say “Peace, be still.”
Father, I praise Your Name that You sent Jesus to be my Savior. Jesus, I praise Your Name that You obeyed and became the sacrifice for my sin. Holy Spirit, thank You for being with me every step of the way, and for holding me close, even in the fiercest storm.