It probably doesn’t come as a surprise to you that being a worship pastor, I’m a big supporter of what some may call, “water references” in worship songs. I know the age-old analogy of struggles in our life being referred to as a storm, or the raging unknown of an ocean may seem vague, overdone, or outdated to some, but to me, there is nothing quite as powerful or relatable. (Cough… “Oceans”… cough). Seriously, there is something that speaks to me so loudly through those analogies and inevitably leaves me ugly-crying in my car drowning in my own water reference wishing I had chosen to wear waterproof mascara.
I think its because at my core – no matter how much I may want to be – I am not a natural risk taker. I’m not someone who dives deep into the ocean. I’m more of a -watch my loved ones from the shore and keep an eye out for sharks- kind of person. I like to feel the sure and steady land beneath my feet and take in the beauty of the ocean without the risk of the unknown.
Just like in life.
See? It makes a great analogy. One that is just as easily applicable today as it was in the days that the Bible was being written. The ocean just doesn’t get old.
And now that I’ve over-explained myself…
Many of us have heard the story of Jesus calming the storm when He and the disciples were in the boat and they became afraid. (If not, you can read the full story in Mark chapter 4).
I love the way The Message version describes how Jesus calmed the storm:
“Awake now, He told the wind to pipe down and said to the sea, “Quiet! Settle down!” The wind ran out of breath; the sea became smooth as glass. Jesus reprimanded the disciples “Why are you such cowards? Don’t you have any faith at all?” They were in absolute awe, staggered “Who is this, anyway?” they asked. “Wind and sea beck at His call.” – Mark 4:39-40 MSG
Can you imagine what the disciples were thinking in that moment? I think we can all relate to their fear and uneasiness before Jesus calmed the storm. They were reacting to what they saw; their circumstances, rather than what they had been told to believe. Their faith wasn’t quite there yet. I know mine is certainly not where I want it to be…
Recently, God has been working on me and expanding my faith. I’ve been a Christian for as long as I can remember, and God has brought me and those close to me out of darkness countless times. He has always been faithful, always come through, never left me. Yet, I still have a hard time surrendering that control. I still hold on to my fear with white-knuckled desperation as if I am in control of the outcome at all.
I should know by now that the God I serve is a million steps ahead of me at all times.
I should know by now that I can’t add one day to my life (or any of my loved ones lives) by worrying.
I should know by now that my God is much better at being in control than I am. His ways have never failed and my track record… it isn’t great.
But still, I doubt. I question. Sometimes I even dare to think that I know better, or that God’s timing is off.
I don’t. It isn’t.
Friend, whatever you may be facing today, I am here to encourage you just as I have to encourage myself with these reminders time after time…
God is in control.
The wind and sea beck at His call.
The creator of the ocean isn’t threatened by it’s waves.
The one who gives breath to the wind can also take it away.
You might be thinking that this is much easier read than done… and you’re right. It’s not easy. The enemy is going to do all that He can to keep you from truly trusting in Jesus and surrendering control to Him.
But press on.
I would encourage you to start by taking small steps of faith: Worship when you don’t feel like it. In spite of your circumstances and situations. Speak words of life into your situation instead of negative or doubtful words, you’ll notice that your way of thinking will begin to shift. Take time to remember where God has come through in your life. Write those things down. Tithe to your local church even when you cannot understand how the numbers are going to line up. I cannot stress this one enough.
My prayer for this post is just to encourage someone today and to remind you that we serve a faithful God who is able to calm your storm. Trust Him. Have faith. And watch Him do amazing things in your life.
Lastly, this song is one that I have had on repeat over the past few weeks and I would encourage you to go take a listen. These lyrics are so beautiful and I hope that they stir your faith like they have mine.
‘I’m not gonna be afraid ’cause these waves are only waves
I’m not gonna be afraid, I’m not gonna be afraid
I’m not gonna fear the storm
You are greater than its roar
I’m not gonna fear the storm
I’m not gonna fear at all’