How to calm the storms in your life
There are several accounts of Jesus and His disciples getting stuck on a boat in the middle of a storm. Waves were crashing over the boat, and capsizing seemed inevitable.
Jesus is calmly asleep while everyone else is freaking out. The disciples couldn’t do anything to save themselves, and eventually, they woke Jesus up, frantically asking, “Don’t you care if we drown?”
Jesus told the storm to stop, and it did. Then “[The disciples] were terrified and asked each other, ‘Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!’” (Mark 4:38-41)
Who Is This Guy?
This story reminds me of what my heart and mind often look like. I frantically run around trying to fix everything. I try to establish my identity, earn grace, protect my heart, make the right decisions and clean up the mess when I don’t. Lightning bolts of confusion strike, waves of panic crash, and life becomes an exhausting battle driven by the fear of capsizing. In the fog of my own failing efforts, I tend to forget the help that is right beside me.
Why is Jesus’ presence so easy to forget? Often, it’s usually because I pursue solutions instead of pursuing a relationship with the only One who can solve things. The critical lack of understanding is not the how it’s the who. When we really know Jesus we can stop searching for security, grace, identity, and freedom because He is all of those things.
So the question remains: Who is Jesus? In Matthew 16, Jesus asks His disciples this same question.
“When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They replied, ‘Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ ‘But what about you?” he asked. ‘Who do you say I am?’” (Matthew 16:13-15).
Who Do I Say He Is?
Jesus has been asking me that same question lately, and my heart’s response is shakier than I’d like to admit.
I know who other people say Jesus is. I have verses and textbook answers. But none of it completely fills the void that question uncovers inside of me. Knowing about someone isn’t the same as knowing them. Believing in someone doesn’t mean you share your life with them.
Salvation is a decision that does not depend on works. But really getting to know someone requires building a relationship. It’s a daily walk we choose to step into. And that’s how it works with Jesus, too. We get to know Him just like we would get to know someone else.
We don’t calm the storms in our lives by figuring out how to make it through them. We focus on who Jesus is because there’s no such thing as capsizing in the hands that wind and waves obey.
How Do I Build A Relationship With Jesus?
We have to talk to someone in order to get to know them. All of our close relationships involve communication. Prayer is our way of communicating with Jesus. Think of it like a direct phone line that you have access to at all times, and the person on the other end never hangs up. Prayer is simply a way of communicating with Jesus. It doesn’t need to be formal. After all, we have nothing to hide. Jesus already knows what we’re thinking and He loves us anyway (Psalm 139:2).
We don’t get to know someone without knowing about them. The Bible is the best way to get to know Jesus. It is full of stories about Jesus’ life and ministry, and every word from beginning to end gives insight into who He is. The Bible is the best place to go to learn about the one you are talking to.
The more you talk to Jesus and read His Word, the more you will start to recognize His voice. As a kid, I took a trip to Disney World and got lost in a huge crowd of people. I was scared and had no idea where to go, but through the roar of voices, I heard my mom’s familiar voice calling my name. Just like human voices become familiar over a period of time, Jesus’ voice does, too.