God of the Storm

Matthew 8:23-27, “And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him.  And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep.  And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.”  And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?”  Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.  And the men marveled saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?”

This is not the only time that Jesus uses the words, “O you of little faith.”   Jesus is God of the storm, whether it be on the sea of Galilee, or a series of winter storms in March, or even hurricane winds.  He is also God of those stormy times in our lives when we face difficult decisions, a doctor’s diagnosis, or even a terrible loss.  And yet there are times when I think of myself as one who has little faith.

In Mark 9 Jesus heals a boy with an unclean spirit.  The disciples tried but were unable to cast the spirit out so the father tells Jesus about his son.  Mark 9:22-24, “And it has often cast him into the fire and into water, to destroy him.  But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”  And Jesus said to him, “If you can!  All things are possible for one who believes.”  Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!”

Like the father, I have little faith and unbelief at times.  I have to remember that God is God of the storm and He alone can control winds and waves.  He can help me in my unbelief, my trials, my struggles.  May we never be afraid to cry out, “I believe; help my unbelief!”

Martin Luther penned the famous Hymn based on Psalm 46 in 1529.  These words of comfort and hope still ring true as we remember that God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;

our helper he amid the flood of moral ills prevailing….