There’s been a song going around for some time that goes something like this:
Grander earth has quaked before
Moved by the sound of His voice
Seas that are shaken and stirred
Can be calmed and broken for my regard…
So let go, my soul, and trust in Him
The waves and wind still know His name
And it is well with my soul.
(Kristene DiMarco “It is Well”)
It may have been 2000 years since Jesus told the wind and the waves to be still. But time doesn’t age God.
God is still in the business of calming storms. Physical storms, storms of life. In the middle of the disciples’ storm on the lake in Matthew 14, Jesus spoke these simple words:
Take courage! It is I; fear not!
I remember a morning many years ago, deep in the desert of Utah. It hadn’t been the greatest of mornings already. And then we headed off across the desert with only a vague idea of how to get where we were going, no trail, and clouds swirling overhead. It didn’t look like the rest of the day would be much better. And desert canyons in the clouds just don’t live up to the hype.
But deep inside was the still, small voice. Take courage! Fear not!
Disappointing weather doesn’t always have that voice saying, “Fear not”. But that day, winding around desert bushes, over slickrock, and across sand dunes and washes, I knew that I wasn’t to be afraid of the weather.
A good number of years before that, I was sitting on the one non-snowy rock on the side of Raspberry Mountain, Colorado, with most of my group turning back because of the snowy conditions. But the song in my head was one I couldn’t place; I couldn’t even remember which artist had sung it. We did make it to the top and one of the most jaw-dropping views of my young life.
It’s gonna be all right, it’s gunna be all ri-hi-hi-hi-hight.
(David Crowder, “Stars”)
We crossed the Escalante River at the mouth of the deep desert canyon we were seeking. And suddenly, the sun came out.
The almost neon-colored walls glowed with the sun as we scrambled up the canyon, crossing the stream, climbing rocks, winding through the brush (no rattlesnakes, I hope!) The sun stayed out as we reveled in the Golden Cathedral, its potholes fiery with the sun filtering down into the upper reaches of the canyon.
We returned to the river crossing, and the sun went under. Funny thing, that.
That was a physical storm. And I have seen Him come through in the storms of life, a topic that goes far beyond this blog. But as one of my group members is singing across the room from my desk:
Take courage my heart, stay steadfast my soul
He’s in the waiting, He’s in the waiting
Hold on to your hope as your triumph unfolds
He’s never failing, He’s never failing
You Who hold the stars
Who call them each by name
Will surely keep Your promise to me
That I will rise in Your victory
(Kristene DiMarco, “Take Courage)
In the wilderness, in our hearts, God is still the God Who calms storms. The waves and wind still know His name.
He knows when a sparrow falls. How much more does He care for us?
He spoke the stars into being, and knows them each by their names. How much more does He know our names?
He provided water in the wilderness. How much more will He provide for us today?
Even when Paul spoke His words, and the owners of the ship refused to listen and the storms came and nearly killed them all, God took care of them and brought them safely to shore. How much more will He bring us safely through, no matter how many mistakes we have made?
Just the whisper of Your name
Will silence wind and waves
At the mention of Your name