The Refining Power of the Storms

Read Mark 4:36-41

39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

From the day we are born, we begin a journey across the sea of life. Life, especially for God’s people, is at times volatile and chaotic  and his desire is that we reach the shores on the other side having become a refined soul and living totally in the power of his grace and mercy.

Our journey is predestined – filled with storms meant to strengthen us and bolster our faith. But for many, the storms elicit fear, doubt, panic and anxiety. We become confused and controlled by the power of the clashing waves, the unsteady boat and the overwhelming winds that mask themselves as broken relationship, abuse, accidents, physical and mental illness, separation, divorce, death. Our pain causes us to lose sight of where we are going and who is on the journey with us.

Our mission in this life is not just to get to the other side safely. It’s to awaken to Christ presence in the boat. To commune with him and come to understand our calling and the path we are to travel. Beyond this, we must awaken to the people in our boat, connect with them and work with them as we steer a common course. We must also awaken to the boats in the water beside us – believers and non-believers who are also on a journey – all of whom need the protective power and guidance of Christ. More than that, our mission is to remain in truth that Christ is our source of calm no matter what chaotic circumstances arise in our life.

Until we truly awaken to the refining powers of the storm, many of us will rebuke God and “demand” that he quiet the storm and demonstrate he cares. For many this “demand” is our step in faith, because it illustrates that we recognize God’s presence and power. But, if we are to grow in faith, we cannot remain there. Growth requires that we move to a place where we fully recognize that without Christ we cannot stay the course. Eventually we must give up the struggle to control our circumstance, other people, and yes, even God. Eventually we must surrender to the will of the divine allowing him to bring peace, hope, and calm no matter what chaotic things are happening around us.

The refinement that comes with the storms helps us to become strong sailors that do not fear the storms but sail through because Christ’s steadies our course, keeps us focused, and speaks to the storm when it is necessary – “Be Still”.

Author: Dr. Joan Samuels-Dennis