Why Doesn’t He Still My Storm? — A Sermon
You have been to three doctors, taken the medication, even had surgery and you are not well. No matter how hard you try you will go home tonight and in all likelihood have a fight with your spouse. You have sent out so many resumes and interviewed so many times and still you have no job. You will worry yourself sick again tonight because your teenager that you don’t trust is out for the evening with the friends you don’t like. The person you are dating is pressuring you to go all the way or loose them. No matter how much time you spend with your child on homework it never seems to translate into better grades. You might call these the storms of life.
We read this morning that Jesus stilled the storm. There was no doubt that this was a real storm on the Sea of Galilee. The fishermen disciples, even the experienced ones, were afraid. There is even a bit of sarcasm here if you will. In the midst of the raging storm they wake a sleeping Jesus and say, “Teacher, are we to drown for all you care?” Come to think of it isn’t that the way we feel sometimes when we are in the midst of the storms of life? It’s seems as though Jesus is sleeping while we suffer, while we are afraid. Where is He in our storms? Why doesn’t God wake up and help us? Have you been there before? I have.
What we really would like is an explanation as to why the storms come in the first place. We read from the book of Job this morning as our Old Testament reading. Job wanted to know why he lost just about everything he had and suffered from painful boils all over his body. God asked Job, “Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge? Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand?” Job could not answer God’s questions, so God did not reveal to Job why these things came upon him beyond this: God is God and we are not. What He determines is beyond our understanding this side of heaven. Still, we wonder about all this.
Okay, so we don’t know why the storms of life come, but why doesn’t He say, “Quiet! Be still!” to the storms in our lives? Why don’t we get well? Why don’t things improve at home? Why don’t we find a job? Why? Jesus are you sleeping? We feel alone. We feel abandoned. We feel helpless.
When we read about the stilling of the storm we just want Jesus to do His thing and still our storm. Just speak a word Jesus and it will all be over. We know you have the power. The winds and the waves obey you. We know you can do it. Do it for us just this once. We pray. We beg. Nothing.
For a moment we need to realize we are like the disciples in the boat. They suffered from a good deal of fear for a while before they woke Jesus up. In fact, the fear factor might have continued if they had not woken Jesus. They are certainly afraid. They were certainly scared of death itself in those moments. We are just like the disciples when the storms come. We too feel afraid. We wonder if God will help. Will God still our storm or is He asleep when we need Him most? Jesus called on His disciples then and His disciples now to trust Him. When the storms come it is hard to trust Him. We just want to know, “Is He here with us?” “Will He ever still the storms of our lives?” “Can we trust Him now?”
Our beginning point is in the Psalms, Psalm 121, “He who watches over you will not slumber; indeed He who watches over Israel will neither slumber or sleep.” When you are in the storms of life Jesus is not sleeping. He is in the boat with you. He is in your boat, and He knows what that means because He Himself has been in a storm rocked boat before on this earth, in this world. He has experienced the storms of life Himself firsthand right here on this earth when He became true man. We have a Savior who came down from heaven and got in the boat with us, the boat of our life and He stays there with us. He is not asleep, distracted or disinterested. He is here with us in the boat. For when He came down from heaven and took on human nature He got in the boat with us.
He says to our fearful hearts, “Quiet! Be Still!” “I am in the boat with you.” “I am here.” “I am!” I am the One who parted the waters for the children of Israel to cross the Red Sea. I am the One who parted the Jordan River for the children of Israel to enter the Promised Land. I am the One who went to a cross for you to conquer the enemies that raged against you, that threatened you, that threatened your eternity with me.
With a word God brought about our rescue from the raging of death against us. With a word God brought about salvation for us from an eternity without Him. It all began when He sent His Son to get in the boat of our world with us, to suffer in the boat of this world with us, to die in this world. He got in the boat with us by coming into this world for us.
There are storms in our lives that will continue until we are in heaven. There are other storms that will pass away maybe today or tomorrow, maybe in a month or a year. There will be storms. The storms test our faith. “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” That question is relevant for us too in the midst of the storms of life. The storms come from a God who loves us more than we can imagine. The storms are to strengthen our faith. In the midst of the storms we flee to Him. We flee to Him as the One who is in the boat with us. We flee to the One who has all power and can with a word calm the storm and the wind. We flee to Him who was willing to die for us on a cross. We flee to Him who gives us gifts to get us through-His Word and His Supper.
The almighty God is with you, the One who can control all of nature with a Word. The One who conquered death itself for you is with you. The One who is in control of the storms of life is with you. Is He asleep? No. Is He testing my faith? Yes. Will He calm the storm in my life? Yes, but in His time and in His way. Will He help me in the midst of the storm? Yes, He will through His Word and Sacrament. Can I trust Him? Yes, our loving Savior is literally in the same boat as we are. Amen.