Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7
Horatio Spafford was a wealthy Chicago lawyer with a thriving legal practice, a beautiful home, a wife, four daughters and a son. He was also a devout Christian and faithful student of the Scriptures. At the very height of his financial and professional success, Horatio and his wife Anna suffered the tragic loss of their young son. Shortly thereafter on October 8, 1871, the Great Chicago Fire destroyed almost every real estate investment that Spafford had.
In 1873, Spafford scheduled a boat trip to Europe in order to give his wife and daughters a much needed vacation and time to recover from the tragedy. Spafford sent his wife and daughters ahead of him while he remained in Chicago to take care of some unexpected last minute business. Several days later he received notice that his family’s ship had encountered a collision. All four of his daughters drowned; only his wife had survived.
With a heavy heart, Spafford boarded a boat that would take him to his grieving Anna in England. It was on this trip that he penned these now famous words…
When sorrow like sea billows roll; it is well, it is well with my soul..
What do you do when all of a sudden, the floor beneath you in your life has disappeared and you suddenly have no place to stand.When the storms of life have unexpectedly taken you by surprise and hit with unbearable force crashing upon the peaceful shores you once knew. Where do you go when all you want to do is be left alone and disappear from the existence of others and all you are left with is deafening silence all around?
Storms enter our lives in many different ways and take on the appearance in many forms. While we can avoid the storms that we bring on ourselves, we cannot avoid the storms that life brings to us unexpectedly. These storms such as sickness, crippling accidents, loss of loved ones, family problems, financial problems, emotional problems and spiritual problems cannot always be avoided. Since we cannot avoid these storms, we must learn to face them but we never have to face them alone. Jesus has promised to never leave or forsake us and help us to face these storms with assurance and peace knowing that He is in our midst to see us through to the other side.
I love the story in Mathew 14 when Jesus appeared to His disciples in the midst of the storm, “their storm” while they were in the boat on the sea. Beginning in verse 22 we read:
Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people home. After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone. Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!” But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!” Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.” “Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted. Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?”
Did you notice that Jesus appeared to them in the midst of the storm, “their storm”, in a way that they weren’t expecting for they did not recognize Him. Many times I believe Jesus enters these personal storms in our lives that we fail to recognize Him or what or who He chooses to send to help in our time of need. Please don’t miss these opportunities friend for our Heavenly Father knows what we have need of even before we ask Him but He so much more desires that we trust Him with full confidence in what He is doing in our lives. Like Peter, we should never doubt that He will save and deliver us in the midst of the storms. We just need to keep our eyes fixed on the Savior and not the storm. For when you do, like Peter, you will hear the Savior say, “Don’t be afraid, Take courage, I am here!” for He who calls to you is faithful. (Hebrews 10:23)
Reflection: How God has proven Himself faithful to deliver you through previous storms in your life?
Scriptures: Deuteronomy 7:9, II Thessalonians 3:3, Romans 8:28, Jeremiah 29:11-13
For His Kingdom,