Peace. Be Still: Storms Aren’t Scary to Jesus

Hello Friends,

I was looking at the calendar this morning, and I realized something. January is almost over: there are only nine days left in January, which means that February is just around the corner, which means that Spring is coming, which means that Summer Vacation is just a few months away! Time sure does fly by…. As I was thinking about Summer–the warm temperatures, being outside all day, going for bike rides, and listening to the birds sing–I also got a little scared. Summer is usually when we experience really bad storms.

Sometimes it rains so hard we can’t see the end of the sidewalk. Sometimes the thunder is so loud that it wakes us up. Sometimes the wind is so strong that is shakes the house. And sometimes the lightning is so bright that we have to put on sunglasses. Do you ever get scared of storms? When I was really little, I was scared of storms. Whenever I heard thunder, I would run to my room and burrow underneath my covers and hide. But as the years have gone by, I am not as scared as I once was. I will have to admit, though, that depending on how big the storm is, I still get a little scared. And that is okay. It’s okay to be scared. It’s okay to run and hide. It’s okay to ask for help. I know it’s okay, because even the disciples–Jesus’ friends–got scared. And if they can be scared, then so can I.

After Jesus talked to and healed a lot of people, the disciples took him in a boat to get away from all the people. While they were sailing in the boat, Jesus fell asleep and a great storm came over the disciples. They were scared. They panicked. They didn’t know what to do. They forgot that Jesus was with them. This is sort of like the same thing that Jonah experienced while at sea. (Do you remember who Jonah is? The man who got swallowed by a large fish, a whale.) Jonah chapter one states, “Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up. All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god. And they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship. But Jonah had gone below deck, where he lay down and fell into a deep sleep. The captain went to him and said, ‘How can you sleep? Get up and call on your god! Maybe he will take notice of us so that we will not perish…..’ Jonah said, ‘Pick me up and throw me into the sea, and it will become calm. I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you….’ Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm” (Jonah 1:4-6, 10, 12, 15).

Like the disciples, those mighty sailors were scared of the storm that they were facing. In a time of need both the disciples and the sailors cried for help: the disciples woke up Jesus and the sailors woke up Jonah. What I like about these two stories is that they remind us that whenever we are scared, we can always wake up Jesus who will comfort us; we can call for help and someone will be there; and no matter how tough things get–no matter how scary and loud the storm may seem–we are never alone. Our parents, grandparents, siblings, friends, and Jesus will help us get to the other side safely.

So, it’s okay to be scared. Jesus is going to be with you every step of the way, and he is going to say to you “Peace. Be still. Everything is going to be okay.” But we must be willing to wake up Jesus when we need him. Don’t be afraid to wake up Jesus, to poke him in the side, and say, “Hey, get up! I need you!” Jesus is always going to be there for you, just like I will be there for you as well.

Your Friend, Holy Spirit!


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