Weathering the Storm

For a lot of people, Japan is synonymous with sushi, samurai and earthquakes.  But that’s only a part of the story.  The typhoons that sweep across the islands of Japan can reek just as much havoc as anything else, and recently one of the biggest typhoons in years came smack through Tokyo.  The result was a city shut down in the wake.  But now that the storm is over and no one was seriously hurt, we are relieved.  But typhoons don’t always have a happy ending.

Happy endings don’t just happen by chance, and a happy family doesn’t just happen by chance either.  Our family may seem naturally happy, but it’s the fruit of hard work and a lot of perseverance — especially with four kids!  The bedrock of a happy home is a commitment between husband and wife to each other to build a strong marriage, to provide a healthy environment for their kids and to stay true to each other through the storms in life.  I’ve made this commitment to Ruth and ultimately to the God who made us.  Following the principles in the Bible has kept my home from falling apart, and made it a place where everyone flourishes.  

Have you ever watched professional golf — PGA tour?  Those guys are amazing.  I had the privilege of going to a tournament when I lived in the States.  I was even more impressed when I watched them in person.  They seem to play golf with such ease.  I was amazed.  But the truth of the matter is that they are so committed and so dedicated to their sport that they have reached a level that makes it look easy.  That is true mastery — when it appears easy or natural to other people.  It took them years of dedication and discipline to reach that place in life.  

Golf is only easy if you’re not keeping score…

Few of us need to aspire to be better golfers, but all of us need to aspire to be better spouses, parents, children and family members.  These relationships are something that everyone has (to some extent or another) and will make us or break us in life.  Do you have such a commitment with the loved ones around you?  Without it, you will never be able to build a home that weathers life’s typhoons — whether they’re real, emotional or psychological.    The healthy home is a shelter in life’s storms, not the source of them.  

There’s a story in the Bible of Jesus when he and his followers, the disciples, were crossing the Sea of Galilee in a boat, and there a terrible storm arose.  Now I’ve been out on the Amazon River on a boat in the middle of a bad thunderstorm, and let me tell you, I was scared for my life.  The waves got big and started breaking over the boat.  You couldn’t see but a couple meters in front of you because of the buckets of rain coming down.  You didn’t know which way you were headed or worse — what was right in front of you.  One could only pray!  The disciples found themselves in a similar situation, scared for their life, and there was Jesus, asleep on the boat!  They woke Jesus up, and He immediately got up and He spoke to the storm — He said “Be quiet!  Be still!”  And it immediately became still.  The disciples’ jaws dropped to the floor.  Literally the Bible says “They were astonished.”  No one had ever done anything like that before.  You see, Jesus is the Prince of Peace.  

“The Storm on the Sea of Galilee” painted by Rembrandt in 1633.

Everyone needs peace in their life.  It’s one of the main traits humans naturally seek.  No one has to tell us to seek for it.  It’s programmed in us by God.  But true peace is not just when everything is good in life, that peace is only temporary, but true peace can look in the face of a storm and say “Be Quiet!  Be Still!” and bring peace into the storm.   

Do you find yourself reacting to life like the disicples: apprehensive, working hard to keep your boat above the waves in the midst of life’s storms?  You can live from a place of peace, but only when Peace itself travels inside the boat of your life.  Jesus is peace.  His Spirit is peace.  When  you commit your life to Him, to follow His ways, His Spirit lives inside of you and the source of all peace begins to change the storms around you.   You will find that there are always bigger storms than you can handle, but there is no storm too strong for Jesus.  

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