How Should We Face A Storm?
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My father was a minister for 50 years. He gave me several words of encouragement and advice when I felt the calling and entered ministry.

One of the most valuable lessons came from a quaint proverb that says, “you can fight a skunk and win, but it's very seldom worth the fight.” He was saying choose your fights carefully. He was saying measure your response and don't over-react to the various crisis and spiritual storms you encounter.

In the Gospel of Mark, 6:48, I find the Disciples of Christ over-reacting to a storm on the sea. No doubt it was a terrible storm and they thought they were going to drown. But the last few words of verse 48 say that Jesus, “would have passed by them,” as he went walking to the other side of the sea.

There's several lessons I see in this story:

First, we'll face spiritual storms just as the disciples faced the physical storm. Nowhere does the Scripture promise us smooth sailing through life. We shouldn't be surprised or perplexed when we face storms---even terrible storms that seem sure to capsize our boat.

Secondly, the disciples perceived the storm worse than it really was. Jesus had told his disciples to trust him, yet they focused on the storm. So many times we focus on the storm and get our eyes off Jesus. Yes, it's hard to stay focused. Sometimes the storm rages and the winds of conflict and turmoil ravage our ship. But the fact that Jesus, “would have passed by them,” tells me that HE wasn't as concerned with the velocity of the wind or the swell of the waves.

Jesus didn't leave them alone. He took note of the storm and the fact that they were, “toiling in rowing.“ But sometimes rowing hard is good for us and Jesus knew they could make it through the storm. Jesus knew if his disciples would've trusted his word and used the strength he'd givenen to row against the storm, they would've made it.

The disciples would've still had to row hard, but they wouldn't have had to battle the fear the storm generated in their hearts.

We all face storms. Sometimes we're sure we're gonna die in the storm. We're afraid. Yet, as for me, many times when I'm given the wisdom of time and space, I realize the storm I feared so greatly at the moment was not as fierce or deadly as I had perceived.

At the moment of the storm, the disciples thought they were going to die. But Jesus, “would have passed by them,” because the storm was under His management and the disciples would survive.

Lastly, Jesus responded to their fear.

Although Jesus knew his disciples could row hard and make it through the storm, he felt compassion and responded to their fear. He calmed the storm. More than that, he calmed his disciples and taught them a great lesson.

The disciples were fighting a “skunk” of a storm, yet the battle wasn't the wind or the waves. The battle was between fear and faith in Jesus.

We must recognize the battle and be careful not to over-react to the storm. Let's not cower in fear of the storm, but row hard and trust Jesus to see us through.



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