The psalmist cries out, “The floods have lifted up, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their roaring!” (Psalm 93:3).
Can you relate? The psalmist sees and hears floodwaters—cold, massive, and wild—rising above him, ready to swallow and drown him and to sweep away all that he loves. Do you feel or see mighty waves gathering—higher and higher, stronger and stronger—to sweep over you or your loved ones? Do you tremble at your powerlessness before such destructive force?
I know I can identify.
Some friends of Jesus can relate too. They experienced this terror one day on a lake. Jesus stepped into a boat, and his friends climbed in after him. They set out to cross the water, but “a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” (Matthew 8:25).
I grew up on a commercial boat in Alaska, so I passed years of days around fishermen, men thriving on the life of the sea. And I learned it takes a lot to scare a man of the sea; the storms and waves that frighten non-seagoing people don’t worry fishermen. In fact, many times fishermen are not sufficiently frightened until it is too late.
So I know Jesus’ friends, most of them fishermen, were not frightened over nothing. I’m guessing a once-in-a-lifetime sort of storm threatened to swallow them alive.
So, like the psalmist they cried out, “The floods have lifted up their roaring! We’re going to drown.”
Jesus woke up, took in the situation, and said to his friends, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then He stood and rebuked the wind and waves, and everything became completely calm. The roaring seas lapped gently against the sides of the boat and the smooth water reflected the clouds above.
Matthew says the disciples marveled and asked one another “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?”
Yes, what sort of man? Who can speak to the raging wind or the roaring sea and subdue a death-storm into a gentle calm?
Only the One whose words formed and sustain the entire creation. His name is—”Mighty God,” (Isaiah 9:6).
The psalmist who saw the waves rising called on God and then declared why: “Mightier than the thunders of many waters, mightier than the waves of the sea, the Lord on high is mighty!” (Psalm 93:4).
Possessing all the might in the universe, nothing is too difficult for him, a storm is nothing before Him. So Jeremiah breathed out in these words of worship: “Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you,” (Jeremiah 32:17).
And, like He was with his friends in the boat, He is for us and will be with us, if we’d like Him to be.
I keep a reminder on my phone, set to encourage me every two hours: “The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything,” Philippians 4:5-6.
The Lord, the Mighty One, is near me. I need not fear any storm.
David prayed, “Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this: that power belongs to God, and that to you, O Lord, belongs steadfast love,” Psalm 62.
He has ALL power—it belongs to Him. And in the same way He is love; He is the fountain, the source, of faithful love. The one who stands by me has ALL power and ALL love. So why, as Jesus asked His friends, am I afraid?
If I cry to Him, He can subdue the wildest storm. And if He doesn’t, His love has a reason. He invites me to recognize His great power and great love and trade in my fear for faith, so that I can rest in Him, leaning into His power and saying, “The Lord is my strength and my song,” Psalm 118:14.
Thoughts for Grace
◊ What storms to do you sense rising around you?
◊ Take a few moments to tell God about them, to cry out to Him: “The floods lift up their roaring, Lord!”
◊ Listen for a moment. Does He say or show you anything? Can you sense His power nearby?
◊ Soak: Rest into Him, handing Him your fears and leaning on His loving strength. Let these verses about His power and love soak into your heart. Maybe set them as a reminder on your phone:
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust,” Psalm 91:1-2.
“You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your gentleness made me great,” Psalm 18:35.
“For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken,” Psalm 62:1-2.
“The Lord is my strength and my song,” Psalm 118:14.