Since those memorable stormy occasions from my childhood, weather technology has improved and I’ve managed to stay sane through grapefruit sized hailstones falling through the skylights at the local mall, a tornado near a nuclear power plant when I was responsible for five teenagers’ lives and I watched on television as a tornado ripped through downtown Fort Worth. I’m not a fan.
But the storms of life are perhaps some of the best teachers I’ve encountered. The storms of life feel like an unending nightmare at the time, but the sun shines again and I appreciate it all the more.
Here’s what I’ve learned about storms in the Bible: (Look, little brother, a bulleted list! Just for you.)
- Noah and the flood: 40 days and nights of rain, followed by a lot of floating and then, the first rainbow.
- Job: Much of his family was killed in a storm; then the Lord spoke to him… out of a storm.
- Jesus and the disciples: in a boat, traveling to the other side of the lake. Jesus naps while wind gusts threaten to sink the boat. Disciples freak out and think they’re all gonna die, so they wake Jesus up. He tells the wind to knock it off and the sea turns calm.
- The disciples in a boat at night on a stormy sea: see an apparition above the water, headed their direction. Begin to converse with the apparition, who claims to be Jesus. Peter walks on water, sinks and then walks back to the boat with Jesus. The storm subsides and the disciples worship.
The cool thing about the storms mentioned in scripture is that they always preceded a miracle. Even on the day Christ was crucified, the skies grew dark in the middle of the day. But that storm came before the greatest miracle of all… our salvation. Another thing the storms in the Bible have in common is that either the Father or the Son chided those in the storm at some point for their lack of faith.
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”–Jesus (John 16:33)