The men nestle into the old wooden fishing boat. The quiet and solitude is welcome respite from the pressing, demanding throngs. Exhaustion quickly succumbs to slumber under the soothing ripples of the water and the gentle rustling of the sail in the chill night breeze.
An uneasy stillness settles over the lake as the darkest hour of night approaches. Suddenly, out of nowhere angry billowing clouds smother the stars. Jagged lightning splits the skies followed by ear-splitting thunder. A blustering gale churns scowling waters with violence that threatens to capsize the boat and snatch the lives of all aboard. Desperate attempts to bail water are no match against the wash of waves filling the boat.
Panic grips these grown men as reality comes into sharp focus. There is no hope of riding out this storm. Adrift in the middle of the lake, not even the best swimmer among them could survive these extreme conditions. Some cannot swim at all.
The men search the hellish darkness for the Master. Hysteria turns to utter disbelief. There, in the stern, huddled in a heavy cloak against the elements, he lies—unperturbed by wind, waves or his disciples’ frenzied commotion!
“Asleep! We’re going down and you’re asleep!”
“We’re in the middle of no-where, in a raging storm, fighting for our lives! Does none of this move you?”
“We’re drowning! Don’t you care that we’re dying? Save us!”
The Master arises. His gaze pierces their fear-stricken souls. “Why are you afraid? I’m right here. Where is your faith?”
The Master turns to face wind and waves. “Enough! Back down! No more!”
Immediately, “a great calm” settles on the lake.
“Who is this?” the men mutter amongst themselves. “He commands wind and waves? And they obey? Instantly!”
Five powerful lessons emerge from this incident.
1. Storms are a part of life. Some are incidental, others are cataclysmic. Some signal their approach on the horizon, others strike without warning.
Calm is found not in the absence of the storm but in the midst of the storm.
2. Storms batter us until we face our worst enemy—fear—and our greatest weakness—faith. Faith is not the absence of fear, nor is it blind.
Authentic faith chooses to trust the Father, stand firmly on His Word, and follow His instructions in the face of fear and despair.
3. Until we learn how to find calm in the storm, the realities of our situation (i.e. the wind and waves) hold us hostage to fear based on self-imposed limiting beliefs.
The greater reality is that the Master is with us in the boat; He is our power-source of authentic faith that will ride out or quell the storm.
4. Calm in the storm is by no means passive—it is not a retreat from reality until the storm passes over. Calm, which comes by faith, is carved out of adverse circumstance by aggressive faith in action.
Calm is a stance from which we activate faith in battle against the forces that impede our progress toward determined destination.
5. Calm is not defined by unflinching will-power, mind-over-matter, nor power-of-positive-thinking. Sometimes these are simply not enough!
Calm in the storm rests on the assurance that when our effort and our faith fall short of subduing the wind and waves that batter us, the Master arises to fight for us—he’s got our back!
As we stay close to our Master through the storms, a little of His calm and His power rubs off on us. Eventually, we become like Him—calm and commanding.
Question: How do you find calm in the storm?
TAKEAWAY: I find the 5-minute relaxing exercise available free at <www.calm.org> an effective tool to create calm. Try it daily and observe the results.
Image courtesy http://www.destinywordoftheday.com/