Daily Radio Bible Podcast
He is With Us in the Storm
Today’s reading is from Numbers 7; Psalms 23 and Acts 27. We are reading through the NLT.
I grew up a couple blocks from the Pacific Ocean, on the Oregon Coast. When you step out of my parents house you can hear the roar of the ocean. I love stories of the sea, ships in peril, and stories of struggling to survive storms. The Bible provides some good ones. There’s Jonah and there’s the story here, with Paul. The parallels we find with the great stories of survival on the seas, and our life, are amazing. These stories of the high seas, found in the Bible, seem to be foreshadowing and amplifying a greater story. Both Jonah and Paul are sailing in the Mediterranean. Both crews are in peril, trying to lighten the ship by throwing things overboard. Both crews receive guidance from Heaven.
There are a lot of parallels, but in most ways Paul is in contrast to Jonah. Paul is, in many ways, a better Jonah. Both men were called by God to be missionaries. One was willing and one was not. Jonah is running from God and Paul is following hard after him. Jonah is, perhaps, the worst successful missionary there was, and Paul was, perhaps the best.
It’s strange how God allowed for storms to play such a pronounced part in His story of love and redemption for the world. Maybe it’s because we go through storms and need to find God in the storm. Do you remember when Jonah was on board and was in that storm? Do you remember what he said?
Throw me into the sea,” Jonah said, “and it will become calm again. I know that this terrible storm is all my fault.(Jonah 1:12)
Jonah knew that the only way for the crew to save themselves was to throw him in the sea to be drowned. Then things would be calm again and they would survive.
Later on, when Jesus came, he said, Now someone greater than Jonah is here (Mt 12:41). What’s he saying? He’s saying that there’s a great storm on the way for each of us, and we won’t survive unless someone far greater than Jonah throws himself into the waves for us. It’s the ultimate storm. Jesus is the “someone greater” who has thrown himself into the wind and waves, and sunk beneath the ocean depths. He has offered up his body to the waves, in order that we might survive. Not only that, but many of us have sunk to the bottom, and when we do, if we are willing, we can see him there, he meets us there, he was there all along. He doesn’t abandon us, he is always and forever with us, no matter where we are.
Whenever I see big surf, or hear of survival at sea, I think about what Jesus has done for us. And my hope is, that when I go through storms in life, and the seas look ominous and threatening, I’ll remember that he has already made the ultimate sacrifice, to save me. I’ll trust him to see me through the storms of this life. I’ll trust him, not only to be my salvation when I die, but my Savior here and now.
That’s the prayer I have for you. May you see Jesus in the storm and trust in what he has done, and is doing, to bring you through life’s storms. Allow the Holy Spirit to be your Captain and Guide. Let him steer your ship as you hoist your sails and allow the wind of Christ’s Spirit to lead and empower you.
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