It was supposed to be over. The hurricane of chaos that formed in 2020 was supposed to dissipate as the sun rose on January 1, 2021. It’s what the media promised. It’s what our weary hearts hoped for to the point of delusion. But it wasn’t reality.
When we awoke to a new year, racism still existed in the hearts of men. COVID 19 and its variants remained a present threat. And political upheaval was still very much upheaving. Now the year we put so much hope in is coming to an end, and still, the hurricane rages, pelting us with a relentless torrent, rocking our boat of existence with constant turmoil, and making it a daily struggle to simply stay afloat.
We hope for relief, we pray for peace, and we beg God to make it stop. Please just make it stop. And all the while, Jesus sleeps in our boat as gale force winds howl in mockery. Suddenly, we find ourselves asking the same question twelve panicked disciples shouted amid another great storm. “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” (Mark 4:38, ESV).
Doubt in the Storm
The wind and waves of chaos and suffering are often so loud, so overwhelming, they consume our senses. Deafening us to the still small voice of truth. Blinding us to the hope of a Savior close enough to touch. Yes, Jesus cares that the disciples are perishing—that’s precisely why He climbed into their sinking ship. Jesus’ very Presence is tangible proof of how deeply He cared for the disciples then and how deeply He cares for us now.
Oh, but it’s hard to rest assured Jesus cares when He allows the storm to keep roaring.
Over the last two years, I’ve repeatedly reminded myself that God is sovereign and in control, but if I’m honest, these facets of His character fail to comfort me in times of suffering. Because if God is sovereign and in control, that means He could calm this storm with a single word, and I’m forced to wrestle with the reality that He’s chosen not to stand and say “peace be still” . . . yet. My finite mind can’t fathom this apparent inaction. It feels like Jesus doesn’t care. I know God’s ways are higher than mine (Isaiah 55:9), I believe He’s working all things for our good (Romans 8:28) but living in a storm with no foreseeable end in sight is wearisome at best and depressing at worst.
Until, that is, I shift my focus from the waves to the very present figure of Jesus, sleeping by my side. The boat may be unsteady, but He is not. Clinging to the hem of my Savior’s garment, I draw comfort from the fact that I’m not alone. We are not alone.
Truth in the Storm
Though the storm rages on, we can rest assured Jesus cares because:
“But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.’ All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: ‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel’ (which means, God with us).” (Matthew 1:20-23, ESV)
The Almighty Creator of galaxies and coral reefs and hummingbird wings so dearly loved us that He chose to leave Heaven’s splendor and come to our rescue. Jesus cared for us so much, He willingly laid down His life and endured the torture of the cross. The agony of the Father turning His face away. Jesus suffered through the loneliest moment in history to ensure that you and I would never go through life’s storms alone. Because He came, we would have a Helper.
“I will not leave you as orphans . . . . But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My Name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14:18 & 26-27, ESV)By sending the Holy Spirit, the Father ensured that Immanuel would remain God with us forever. Click To Tweet
By sending the Holy Spirit, the Father ensured that Immanuel would remain God with us forever. If you want to know if someone cares about you—truly cares—see if they stick around when things get tough. When you mess up. When you’re in need. No matter how bad things get or how far we fall, Immanuel will never leave us as orphans. He is our very present Help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1). He is our perfect peace in times of chaos. With us, now and always, until we meet face to face at the trumpet’s call.
He’s coming again.
“For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18, ESV)
God is the supreme Author who creates with words and reveals truth through stories, and as such, He knows better than anyone what makes for a great hero. He knows the best heroes not only save the princess from the dragon and stand by her side as a constant defender, but at The End, a great hero carries his bride off to a castle filled with many rooms prepared just for her. As the bride of Christ, we have the ultimate happily ever after awaiting us. For our Hero, the lover of our souls, will one day turn a page in the story of this world and come riding through the clouds on a white steed to sweep us off our feet. Though it seems like a fairytale, we can believe this story is true because our Hero has already come to our rescue once, and wondrously, He’s with us still, hemming us in on all sides as our daily Defender.
Hope in the Storm
There is no such thing as an eternal storm. Eventually, every hurricane weakens and dissolves into the atmosphere. One day, the storm assailing us will fade into stillness as countless storms over the centuries have done before. Until then, it is my prayer that you will find comfort and hope in the Presence of Jesus. Your Savior, Helper, and Triumphant Hero. May you always remember that Jesus cares for you with deepest affection and watches over you carefully. That’s why He came to save us. That’s why He stayed to hold us. And that’s why He’s coming back to whisk us away to an eternal happily ever after.
“Casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully].” (1 Peter 5:7, AMP)