There’s a song written over twenty years ago that has been brought to my mind lately. It’s entitled Sometimes He Calms The Storm. The lyrics of the chorus echo in my mind: “Sometimes He calms the storm, and other times He calms His child.”
Many of us face different storms in our lives. The tendency is to cry out for the Lord to take away the storm, think of Jesus out on the boat with his the disciples. “Even the wind and waves know his name,” the disciples proclaim as he calms the raging seas (Luke 8:25). God is more then able to take away our storms. Sometimes, it is in these places of difficulty that God chooses to refine us and define us.
For almost seven months now my family has found themselves in a place of waiting. Waiting for what? That’s the million dollar question! We’ve pondered applying for different jobs throughout our town or even looking for ministry positions in a different location. Each time we pray, the answer is the same. Wait. Our devotions, even my children’s, echo the same message in a different way each day. Wait on the Lord. Wait patiently on the Lord. The Lord is good to those that wait. Different day, different page, same message. Recently, the Lord brought to mind the life of Noah.
Now this is a guy who had to wait. The Lord told him there was going to be a flood and he was to build an ark to avoid being drowned with the rest of all the living things. It took time to build this gigantic structure, some scholars say hundreds of years, although the time frame isn’t specifically given to us in the Bible. What is given to us is the time spent on that ark. Genesis chapter 8:13-14 says, “Noah was now 601 years old. On the first day of the new year, ten and a half months after the flood began, the floodwaters had almost dried up from the earth. Noah lifted back the covering of the boat and saw that the surface of the ground was drying. Two more months went by, and at last the earth was dry!” (NLT)
Over a year had past. A year! Imagine that. The Bible doesn’t tell us much about that year inside the ark, but I do know that Noah and the other passengers were human. It couldn’t have been all rosy inside that stinky ark for a full year. But after waiting for God’s command they got to exit the ark. Noah showed so much patience sending out birds to test the water instead of racing to the get out.
Couldn’t God have sped up this process? We see clearly in the Old Testament that he is able to. There were times where disobedience and sin were met with instant death. He could have just wiped the evil people out and left Noah and his family. But He didn’t. Not only did God not calm Noah’s storm, He created the biggest, most deadly storm in earth’s history.
I think we can all take a page out of Noah’s life. Faithfulness. Sometimes in our fast-paced society we have a hard time sticking to a project for even a month or two. Noah’s obedience was a long-term commitment. Noah was faithful to carry out God’s commands. The Bible doesn’t record Noah’s prayer for God to take away the storm, he just followed the Lord’s instructions and trusted Him to carry him through it.
I hope you are encouraged today that, whatever you are facing, God has a plan to get you through. “Sometimes He calms the storm, and other times He calms His child.”
Father, help us to depend on You even in the midst of the chaos that surrounds us. May our prayer not only be for You to take away the storm, but that You would carry us through it, that You would calm Your child. Thank You for loving us and always having our best interest at heart.