Here we are again sitting on the brink of storm season along the Gulf Coast. We keep watch on the news and radars for those tropical storms that can soon grow strength into hurricanes. The last place you want to be when a storm rolls in is out on the waters.
I was out on the island a few days ago tending to our vacation rental properties. I was longing for the ocean, so I hopped in the old rusty golf cart we have and headed to the shore. I soon wondered what was going on as cars and people lined the highway that led to the water. Rolling in close enough to see, the waves were lapping in close to the sand dunes.
It finally dawned on me that the storm that rolled up on top of the Louisiana shore was effecting our tides here in Texas. Many came to see — visitors, news channels, and residents. And of course, surfers! The surfers were there not wanting to pass up a ride on the stormy waves making landfall.
My lifeguard heart wanted to scream, “Get out of the waters. There’s not even a guard on duty.” But screaming would have done no good as the howling wind would have carried my voice away as soon as it left my mouth.
Why do we rush to the stormy waters?
Is it the thrill of the chaos taking place? Or the adventure of experiencing Mother Nature out of control? I’m not really sure, but we have a curiosity for these stormy waters.
Maybe it’s our need to experience the power of nature? Or realize the magnificence and beauty of the chaos God’s power can create? Whatever our need — we rush to see the storm.
When stormy waters rage before me, I can’t help but think of Jesus and the disciples. I don’t think the disciples rushed into the storm, but nonetheless were caught out on the waters when the waves tossed wildly to and fro. I can just imagine the fear and anxiousness.
Being brave while being a storm chaser.
Sunday after attending church on the beach, we lingered in the golf carts along the shore with friends. We rode up and down the island. Had breakfast and enjoyed each others company. The next thing we knew, black clouds were billowing up into what looked like an enormous storm.
What do we do? We decided to be storm chasers. I’m sure we didn’t make the show of real Storm Chasers proud, but we tried. We rode our golf carts along the shore as fast as we could towards the storm. I was on my radar app watching the storm intently. It showed we were on the outskirts and I knew we’d be alright.
But something was wrong. Within minutes the wind was blowing fiercely, which meant the sand was blasting our bare skin. Rain was pouring down at a slant of about forty-five degrees. We immediately left our role of storm chasing and began the role of storm running.
We laughed hard about our journey. We were drenched and felt ran over by the stormy elements.
On storm chasing and feeling small.
While the surfers run to the ocean, their soul’s awaken. The wildness of storms at times can make them feel big and fearless. But once the waves have battered them around a time or two, they realize just how small they are.
And as we chased wildly into the storm, our senses awoke. The wind blew sideways across our bodies, the sand stung, and our heart’s were awakened. This need to experience something big did, in fact, leave us feeling small.
As Jesus disciple’s try to sail their boat caught up in the storm out on the lake, the realization that their will power and strength could not make a difference, leaves them feeling frail and small. They knew the only thing left was to wake the One who created the storms and seas.
With just a few words, Jesus speaks the storm into a calm. A secure feeling that must have been most welcomed.
Daily storms come and go.
This stormy season will pass in a few months. But there are daily storms you and I face that leave us feeling just as small. You might think you can conquer your own struggles and trials on your own in the beginning. You and I, we’ve tried.
You have an addiction to overcome, but you don’t seek help. You think you can conquer it on your own.
Your marriage is struggling. Night after night you battle it out, hoping one day it will change.
Your finances are out of control. There are bills to be paid and items you’d rather buy. You swear you’ll cut up those credit cards tomorrow.
Or we’re out of shape and overweight. We let the storms of bad health creep up on us, while declaring tomorrow we will begin that diet to a healthy lifestyle change.
We try to navigate these storms on our own, in our own wisdom. Maybe there is something to be said for storm chasers — they run towards the storm. And to overcome our own struggles, sometimes that’s what we have to do. Run towards the storm, doing all we can to conquer the situation, and remembering in our own power we are too small for such a task.
Then when we’ve exhausted all our strength doing only what we can, we relinquish to the One who will take it from there. Battered around by life’s chaos, the One to calm the storm is not the storm chaser, but the Storm Maker himself.