Imagine being stuck in the middle of a raging sea. At one point everything was fine and peaceful but then suddenly, within seconds the sea turns into a raging monster. The sun disappears behind thick clouds and darkness fills the sky. The waves become great watery giants playing with the ship as a toy and then they became angry and start smashing the ship with their watery fists. The ship can only withstand so much until it breaks and drowns in the sea. Hope is shattered into a billion pieces and is drowned amidst the storm.
It’s been four months since Covid-19 hit the shores of our world. Who would have expected it to cause to much devastation and turmoil and so quickly. At one point people were joyfully celebrating Christmas and entering the New Year with goals and ambitions. Yet, this calamity came on us suddenly without any warning and has smashed so many dreams and hopes. Hospitals overfilled, economy suffering, and people are in isolation. Many nervous people are waiting in their homes hoping that this storm would soon pass.
Why is God allowing this virus to cause so much pain and suffering? Why is God not hearing the prayers of thousands of Christians? Even though many Christians are trying to answer these questions, we ultimately don’t know the “why”, and I think it’s not our place to figure it out. On the contrary, as believers, we are to figure out how to live through this storm. The beauty is that the Bible provides answers to this question.
Jesus in the Storm!
In this storm Jesus is saying to us: “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” This phrase was said by Jesus to his disciples amidst a great storm. The disciples of Jesus were fishermen, they were people of the sea, they knew how to guide their boat through the waters.
“A great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But Jesus was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” (Mark 4:37-40).
Notice that the disciples had full reason to be afraid, because they were actually staring death in the face. They knew the sea and here they had lost all control. Yet, Jesus rebukes them saying that they have no faith. Why? Because He was with them. Even in the times when they have lost control, Jesus is still in control and we are to look to Him. We are not to let the storm cloud our view of Jesus.
This event in the disciples life is very similar to another event that they experienced with Jesus. While the disciples of Jesus were trapped in a raging sea, Jesus walked to them on water. They did not recognize him and were greatly afraid, thinking that he was a ghost. Jesus says this phrase: “Have courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid”. Peter desiring to test Jesus and asks him to walk on water. Jesus permits him, but as Peter is walking on water, he loses sight of Jesus and starts drowning. He cries out for help and Jesus saves him and asks “you of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matt. 14:22-32).
The point of these two stories is that Jesus is with us, and we are to look to him and not lose sight of him amidst the storm. He will give us courage to overcome our fears and worries. In this Covid storm we can have courage and not be afraid because Jesus is with us. He is holding us with his mighty hand. God never promises His people easy and comfortable life, but he does promise to be in the middle of the storm with us. He will never leave us or forsake us. We have real hope and an unshakable foundation, because we have a shepherd who is right with us.
Psalm 23 reminds us, “The Lord is my shepherd; I have what I need. He lets me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside quiet waters. He renews my life; he leads me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even when I go through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for you are with me; your rod and your staff—they comfort me….”
So what are we to do?
Do not let the Covid storm block our view of Jesus. Focus on Him even more in this crazy season. Come to him in prayer. Let him shine brighter through His word. We have hope, peace and joy in our Lord, even when the whole world is in turmoil.
As we are focusing more on Jesus, we are also called to show Him to other people, especially in this season. There are many people who don’t have a lasting foundation as we do. This storm is shaking up every tree in the garden of our world. Many trees have no foundation, they just appear to be in the ground, and the storm is causing them to fall. The world is mesmerized by false idols, but now these idols are not strong enough to save them in the Covid storm. Money, possession and security are crumbing before their eyes. Nothing is this life is secure apart from God.
Many people would have never come to church on Sunday, but now a lot of people are looking and searching. People are connecting and listening to church services for the first time. Yes, comfort yourself with God’s promises but also speak about those promises with people around you.
Our faith is seen the clearest in the most difficult times. Christians have always had the greatest impact in the darkest times of history, because when everything fails, Jesus will never fail. Point to Him and show Him as being our sure foundation and hope.
Great song that is a reminder about who is our firm foundation: