Weathering The Storm

It has been a while since I wrote a blog article. In the unique situation I am in while writing this I find the extra time to catch up on things such as this. I am in a situation that has given me a lot of time to reflect on faith, and on this topic I want to share an illustrative story with you. I refuse to lay claim to this story as I know it was conceived by someone else, I fail however to recall to whom it originates. I was reminded recently by a dear friend that I shared this story with them a while back when helping them through tough times.

A village had seen days upon days of rain. In less than a week this village had seen rainfall more than double its average annual rainfall. This rain swelled the hefty river that served as a major trade route through the village causing it to breach its banks. Hour by hour the water would rise. In a house on a hill in the center of town lived a man who had spent his entire life in the village. Local rescue workers went house to house evacuating the residents. Despite pleading with him the man refused to leave his home saying, “God will save me, when He is ready.”

The waters continued to rise and were now at the doorstep of the man’s home. A rescue boat comes to evacuate the man yet again. He once again refuses, saying “God will save me, when He is ready.” As dark began to fall the water had now enveloped the whole interior of the house leaving the man to take shelter on the roof. A rescue helicopter comes to once again try to evacuate the man. He again waves them off saying “God will save me, when He is ready.”

Eventually, the waters envelop the whole house causing its collapse killing the man. The man arrives in heaven and meets God. The man asks, “God, why didn’t you save me? I had faith that you would come to my aid.” and God replies, “I tried many times to save you, I sent help to your door, you turned it away. I sent you a boat, you refused to get in. I sent you a helicopter and you waved it off.

In Mark 4:35-41, Jesus and his disciples are in a boat crossing a lake when a heavy storm churns up.

As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed). But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water.

Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?”

When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

The disciples were absolutely terrified. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “Even the wind and waves obey him!”

Mark 4:35-41 (NLT)

Jesus didn’t stop the storm because his disciples had faith. Jesus stopped the storm because they lacked faith.

The point to this article is that sometimes we get our faith in God misdirected. We put our faith in miracles and not God. God will not always make challenges, illnesses, and tragedies vanish, but instead he asks us to have faith in Him to see us through the rising waters and struggles. The little efforts, milestones, and rescues are where God does his best work. No where in the Bible does it say faith comes easy. Sometimes the toughest struggles bring the biggest blessings.

So, you may ask why is faith such a topic in my mind? As I lay here at home in my bed recovering from a second onset of the COVID19 virus, I hear people saying, God will not allow me to get sick because I have faith in him. I lay here today telling you God might not stop it, but asks you to have faith through him, through others like the millions of health workers and emergency providers, He will see you through the storm if you place your faith in him.

No one really knows what is in store for us but God alone. We can argue the validity of vaccines, research, masks, and quarantines all day long. We can listen to the media and experts talk back and forth pointing fingers. But, what we need to do is have faith that God will use these very resources to get us through according to his will and providence if we maintain faith in God instead of miracles.

Rev. Steven D. Hofmeister
Rev. Steven D. HofmeisterFounder, Senior Pastor, & President
Diakonos Independent Ministries of Maryland