June 3

On that day, when evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s go across to the other side of the lake.” Mark 4:35

Even when we go forth at Christ’s command, we need not expect to escape storms; for these disciples were going forth at Christ’s command, yet they encountered the fiercest storm and were in great danger of being overwhelmed, so that they cried out in their distress for Christ’s assistance.

Though Christ may delay His coming in our time of distress, it is only that our faith may be tried and strengthened, and that our prayers may be more intense, and that our desires for deliverance may be increased, so that when the deliverance does come we will appreciate it more fully.

Christ gave them a gentle rebuke, saying, “Where is your faith?” Why did you not shout victory in the very face of the storm, and say to the raging winds and rolling waves, “You can do no harm, for Christ, the mighty Savior is on board”?

It is much easier to trust when the sun is shining than when the storm is raging.

We never know how much real faith we have until it is put to the test in some fierce storm; and that is the reason why the Savior is on board. If you are ever to be strong in the Lord and the power of His might, your strength will be born in some storm. (Streams in the Desert)

Having spent my childhood on the Gulf coast, I am accustomed to storms. In fact, one of my strongest early memories is of fleeing as a family before the ferocity of Hurricane Camille in 1969. Camille was the second-most intense tropical cyclone to strike the United States on record. We escaped to East Texas to the farm of my mother’s relative that we called Uncle Pete. I am certain my parents experienced a goodly measure of fear as they sought to keep us safe, but what I remember most is the time spent with Uncle Pete in overalls gathering eggs and milking cows. I also recall the expansive breakfast spread that seemed to my childish eyes to go on forever. Perhaps that farm table is where my love of pancakes was born.

You need not go out looking for storms—they will find you soon enough. When they inevitably do, remember the boisterous tempest is not the important thing; the quiet presence of the Lord is our Center. He takes us by the hand, and walks the narrow valley with us. We do not celebrate the hard things in life; instead, we cherish successive memories of the Lord’s nearness in the toughest of circumstances. Storms are not a concern for those secure in the presence of another.

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