The Power of a Storm

The other night my wife and I were talking with my former basketball coach. He was at Lowe’s picking up a piece of guttering because a storm was approaching. We parted quickly and went our separate ways. On the drive home a tornado warning was issued. We were well south of the tornado, so we parked until the storm passed. After arriving home I sent a Facebook message to his wife. I wanted to be sure they were safe and to know if he repaired the guttering in time. At the end of our conversation, she made a statement that spoke to me. She said, “Sometimes all we can do is wait out the storms.”

My mind immediately began to think of the many times in the Bible when Jesus talked about storms. You probably remember the story of the disciples being stuck in a boat with Jesus during a bad storm. The wind was causing the waves to come up over the edge of the boat. They were doing everything they knew to do in order to keep their boat from sinking. Eventually they realized they were powerless against the storm. In desperation, they decided to wake up Jesus. Jesus then spoke to the storm. Immediately the wind stopped and the sea was calmed. The disciples’ response was much like mine would have been, “What manner of man is this who has power over the wind and the sea?”

During his famous sermon on the Mount, Jesus told of the wise man who built his house on the rock and the foolish man who built his house on the sand. When the storms came, when the rain and hail beat upon their house, there were two different outcomes. The wise man’s house did not fall. It stood up to the test of the storm. It wasn’t because his house was FEMA approved. It wasn’t because he had read about the three little pigs and decided to use bricks instead of conventional stick framing. His house stood up to the storm because he had built it on the right kind of foundation.

If you look beyond the words of the story Jesus told about the wise man and the foolish man, you will understand that Jesus wasn’t really even talking about houses. He was a master at using earthly examples to teach spiritual principles. The house was only used to represent the life that we build for ourselves. The storms represented the storms of life. The rock represented the everlasting word of God. The sand represented the ever-changing doctrines of this world. Jesus wanted to make it abundantly clear that if we do not build our lives on the right kind of foundation (the Word of God), then it will not stand up to the storms of life.

Growing up in Kansas, I have always been well aware of the power of a storm. I’ve seen huge trees uprooted in my yard, a large branch thrown through my van window, a roof peeled off our barn. I’ve witnessed pieces of buildings and farm equipment scattered across the ground like tinker toys thrown on the floor by a three-year-old. I’ve helped clean up the mess after barns that had stood for 100 years were blown from their foundations and completely destroyed. It’s no secret that a storm can be damaging, destructive, and sometimes devastating. Storms can leave everything in its path in a complete mess.

Sooner or later a storm will come along to test each of us. Trials and problems and circumstances will beat down upon us like the wind, rain, and hail beats down on a house. Sometimes the trials and problems and circumstances will be damaging, even devastating, leaving our lives in a complete mess. Storms have the power to take everything we have built for ourselves in an instant, leaving us with what seems like nothing, sitting powerless in a sinking boat, knowing there is nothing we can do about it.

If you happen to find yourself in a situation like that today, or tomorrow, or whenever, I want you to remember this. In Jesus we have a Master who has power over the storms. In an instant He can speak to your storm and give you peace. He may make you wait out the storm. He may let you try everything you know to do, as He did the disciples. He may even wait until you feel completely powerless, but rest assured, at just the right moment, He will speak to your storm.