Intense booms of thunder shook the house and bursts of light cut through the darkness filling up our bedroom with light. I startled awake and rushed to go get my youngest daughter to make sure she wasn't afraid. To my surprise my eldest was already standing there with her arms full of stuffed animals protecting them from the storm.
She climbed into our bed, a safe harbor as I went to get our youngest. I found her curled up in a ball trembling and calling out to me that she was afraid. I scooped her up into my arms and carried her to our room where we tried to sleep arm in arm. The storm was still raging outside, but as we settled in to sleep I felt the tension in their bodies relax now that they felt safe in their parents arms.
This reminded of the stories in Mark 4 and Matthew 8 where Jesus saved the disciples from a stormy sea capsizing their small fishing boat. I love the telling of this story from my children's "Jesus Storybook Bible" by Sally Lloyd-Jones.
"The storm blew the water into towering waves that hurled the little boat up and sent it crashing back down. The fishing boat was blown and buffeted and in the middle of the storm Jesus was sleeping.
Now Jesus' friends had been fishermen all their lives, but in all of their years fishing on this lake they had never once seen a storm like this one. No matter how hard they struggled with their ropes and sails, they couldn't control their boat. This storm was too big for them.
But the storm wasn't too big for Jesus.
'Help!' they screamed. 'Wake up! Jesus!!!'
Jesus opened His eyes.
'Rescue us! Save us!' they shrieked. 'Don't you care?'
Of course Jesus cared, this is the very reason he had come - to rescue them and to save them.
Jesus stood up and spoke to the storm, 'HUSH!'
Then the strangest thing happened. The wind and waves recognized Jesus' voice. They had heard it before, it was the same voice that made them in the very beginning. They listed to Jesus and they did what He said.
Immediately the wind stopped. The water calmed down. It glittered innocently in the moonlight and lapped quietly against the side of the boast, as if nothing had happened.
The little boat bobbed gently up and down. There was a deep stillness and a great quiet all around.
Then Jesus turned to his wind-torn friends. 'Why were you scared?' he asked. 'Did you forget who I am? Did you believe your fears, instead of me?'
Jesus' friends were quiet. As quiet as the wind and the waves and into their hearts came a different kind of storm.
'Why kind of man is this?' they asked themselves. 'Even the winds and the waves obey him!' They didn't realize yet that Jesus was the Son of God.
Jesus' friends had been so afraid, they only saw the big waves. They had forgotten that, if Jesus was with them, then they had nothing to be afraid of. No matter how small their boat - or how big the storm."
The Creator of the Universe was with them and is also with us. He can calm every storm literal and figurative, of our anxieties and fears. Just how my children relaxed in the safety of my arms we have a Heavenly Father who holds us up and comforts us with peace.
Reading this encounter from the "Storybook Bible" gave me a deeper understanding of God's sovereignty and power. It has helped me see the big picture and how this story isn't just about the miracle of saving His disciples on a boat that day.
It is also a tale of how He rescues us.
When will we believe He is who He says He is? How long will our eyes be on the waves consuming us, pulling us under and not the one who says, "Peace, be still." Mark 4:39