For the past few weeks my newsfeed has been inundated by updates on the flooding in Kerala, India. The death toll that started out in the double digits quickly escalated to triple within days as the forces of nature continued to pummel the state with relentless rain and flooding, leaving destruction in its path.
Watching the videos of this tragedy truly broke my heart because, even though I was not born and raised there, Kerala is very much my homeland and holds a very special place in my heart. Personally, it has always been a window into the paradise I long for in eternity and a refuge when my soul feels weary, so seeing it literally being swept away was mind-boggling.
For many who watched from the sidelines, our prayer was that rain would stop and the waters would recede. This made me think back to when Jesus and the disciples were out on a boat, and the water was so tumultuous that the disciples thought they would die even though Jesus was on board with them.
And when He got into the boat, His disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but He was asleep. And they went and woke Him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” And He said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then He rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey Him?” | Matthew 8:23-27
Every time I read that passage, I am always surprised by the response of the disciples. Why were they so shocked? If they knew that Jesus was God, then surely they would understand that He is capable of doing essentially anything.
To give them some slack, I guess this was pretty early on in their relationship with Christ and being with Him during His ministry on earth, but when you read on throughout the gospels, there are repeated instances when the disciples are surprised by Jesus’ power.
What is also interesting is that the Old Testament talks about God being in control of the elements—specifically the waters—on multiple occasions. One reference in particular comes from one of the Messianic Psalms, and when I read it I honestly wondered if it was purposely written so we could see how it would be fulfilled through Christ in the New Testament.
You rule the raging of the sea; when its waves rise, You still them. | Psalm 89:9
The point is that Jesus is with us through the literal and figurative raging waters. Even when we are on the brink of death, we need to remind ourselves that Christ is right there with us every step of the way!
He alone has the power to save and restore.
Nothing in this life, no matter how insurmountable it is for man, is too difficult for my Savior. We need to trust in His providence in every situation, and believe me, I know that is easier said than done!
What I have realized is that sometimes God places us in situations that we have absolutely no control over, and we have no choice but to trust in Him and see Him work. Just imagine if we did that in EVERY situation?
What if we placed our trust in Him rather than our own understanding or resources?
Now that would be truly something amazing to see. The world around you would see the miraculous work of God through your life! Trusting in Him wholeheartedly ultimately increases our faith, strengthens our personal relationship with the Lord, and brings Him glory. Let’s make this happen, Church!