Your Own Storms

Rising majestically over the Planes of Galilee is the monolithic Mount Arbel, the scene of many historical events. It forms the western wall of the Valley of the Doves. Running through the valley is the trail from Nazareth to Capernaum which Jesus would have walked going between these two towns.

Having stood on the summit of Arbel, I have endeavored to recreate in my mind one event that transpired there. Sudden strong winds known as Euroclydon often funnel down the valley getting stronger as they go. Rushing out of the valley they are directed toward the Sea of Galilee. 

On an occasion Jesus and His apostles set out to cross the sea. Fatigued by a busy day of ministry Jesus was asleep when it happened: Euroclydon. Suddenly without warning large billows turn the sea into hazardous condition. It was a challenge to the most stalwart vessels on the sea. The apostles, like any seamen of the era, were frightened.

Look at Jesus, when most needed what is He doing …. sleeping.

With the urgency of the moment the apostles awakened Him pleading for help. Having emptied Himself of His divine power for personal use, but not for the welfare of others, Jesus calmed the sea, and with it the hearts of His beloved apostles.

Now, the application of the event. Have you ever been in your own tiny vessel when without warning your own threatening Euroclydon struck? The appearance was Jesus was asleep when you needed Him most.

A concluding line in the Lord’s model prayer is translated in most versions, “Lead us not into temptation….” The Greek word translated “temptation” can be more appropriately translated with today’s meaning as “Lead us not into trials….” 

That single line is compacted with meaning. One is He does on occasion deem it wise to lead us into trials which are tests to allow us to demonstrate our faith in Him. Struggles develop strength, trials develop trust and prove Jesus still has the capacity to calm our personal storms. 

This voyage was Jesus’ idea. It was He who said, “Let us go across to the other side.” This wasn’t an idol suggestion, it was a command with a purpose. He led them into the storm as a confidence building trial.

That is good to anchor in the harbor of your mind for storms are inevitably going to come. With that calm confidence established you can say, “I will fear no evil for when I am afraid I will trust in Him.

Pause and meditate on some occasions when He has calmed storms in your life. Times when the slumbering Jesus became your sufficient Savior. 

May the time never come when Jesus can say of us that which He said of His apostles, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?”