Have you ever felt out of control?
• Maybe you’re involved in things you shouldn’t be, and you’re not sure how to stop.
• Maybe you have a child gone wayward, and you feel responsible somehow.
• Maybe you are responsible in some way, and that’s what bothers you the most.
• Maybe you want to get married, but can’t find the one.
• Maybe you thought she was the one, and she walked out.
• Maybe you can’t get pregnant, and you’ve been trying for a very long time.
• Maybe you’re pregnant, and the timing is not good.
• Maybe you’ve done terrible things, or maybe you’ve made huge mistakes.
• Maybe you’ve lost someone you shouldn’t have lost.
• Maybe it’s not fair. Maybe it’s not right. Maybe there is nothing you can do about it.
• Maybe you’re sad, scared, angry and overwhelmed.
A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
— Matthew 4:37–41
I don’t know what your storm is, but I know mine. There was a time when it was absolutely terrifying. I had no idea what I would do or how to do it. I was so far out to sea, I was sure there was no going back. My life was drowning.
There is something to note about the disciples’ reactions in this story. They were terrified, not only by the storm, but by the calming of the storm. The power of Christ is terrifying. Sometimes we hang onto the illusion of control in our terrifying storms because what it will take to calm our storm is more terrifying indeed. But keeping things ‘under control’ means, at the very best, maintaining a sense of self delusion and, at worst, lying and deceiving those you love for fear of shattering your life and theirs. Either way, it is exhausting — and eventually, you will drown.
I was so much more scared of relenting to God than of my own hurricane that it took me five years to gather the courage to answer his calling. When I did, he immediately calmed my storm. He didn’t take away consequence, but he set in place healing. The strange calm was surreal and miraculous. It left me asking, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him.” (Matthew 4:41)
There is one thing that I know now that I never knew when I “had control”: I can trust God. Whenever there are times in my life where I feel chaos creeping in, and I am tempted to take over, I remember the miracle of peace that God left me with. Sometimes God lets our storms rage as a way of teaching us to trust him and to rest in his arms.
Trust in the Lord.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.
— Joshua 1:9