At Your Wit’s End in a Raging Storm

“…they were at their wits’ end.  ‘Lord, help!’ they cried in their trouble and he saved them from their distress.  He calmed the storm to a whisper and stilled the waves.”

-Psalm 107:27b-31 NLT

Add subtitle textWit’s end.  Ever been there?  I think I have traveled to that destination so many times that I should have accrued enough frequent flier miles to get there for free.

Currently I am learning why this phase in my toddler’s development has been labeled terrible twos.  These temper tantrums have definitely led me to my wit’s end.

Although my wit’s end would not be the destination of my choice, I must admit it is the place I have learned the most.  The water splashed lenses you wear through your storms could very well act as a magnifying glass for you to see God’s power more up close and enlarged than ever before.

As Psalm 107:28 commands, we are to call out to the Lord in our trouble and distress.  And when we do, He will answer.  Sometimes with a simple command, He will still the storm to a whisper and hush the waves around you.  Other times, he will calm the storm inside you first.

With the sound of his voice, he might hush the threats that wit’s end is going to be your end, before he brings relief from the waves that threaten to pull you under.

Maybe before he calms the financial hurricane that has just uprooted your family’s security, he will still the storm inside of you, leading you to trust Him to meet your every need.

Perhaps before he calms the storm of two-year-old tantrums, he will first still the storm of impatience in the exhausted and overextended parents to a whisper.

Or before He deals with that obnoxious co-worker who drives you crazy, he will deal with the issues inside of you and teach you how to work with difficult people.

Before he stills the waves of doubt sweeping over you, perhaps he needs to quiet that inner storm’s roars and give you peace in knowing that you are enough because He is enough.

To gain a better understanding of this concept, let’s take a look at the accounts of the storms in the gospels.

The account of the first storm can be found in Mark 4:35-41.  Scripture tells us that a serious squall came up and waves were crashing up and over the boat.  And where was Jesus in all of this mess?  He was asleep on a cushion in the stern of the boat.

Now, I have to admit, my reaction would probably have been similar to that of the disciples, “Uh, Jesus! We’re drowning here! Don’t you care?!”  But I wonder if Jesus’ intention was to teach them first that He IS the calm in the midst of the storm.  Jesus got up and calmed the storm with three simple words, “Quiet! Be still!” and again his power was made known to the disciples.

There is another storm account in Matthew 14:22-31.  The disciples were out at sea in another storm, but this time Jesus wasn’t in the boat with them since He had sent them ahead of Him.  The storm came up and the disciples were afraid.  Soon they see Jesus walking toward them on the water, and Jesus revealing that it was Him was enough for Peter to get out of the boat and walk on water with Him.

With the storm raging and waves crashing, Peter got out of the boat! Can you imagine?  The presence of Jesus alone calmed the storm inside Peter’s heart enough to give him the courage to climb out of the boat.

It is important for us to learn that God has the power to calm all of life’s storms.  It’s even more important for us to learn that Jesus IS the calm in the midst of our storm.

What if we truly grasped that?  What if we truly understood that even at our wit’s end, Jesus can bring us out of our distress, even before the storm is stilled to a whisper?  Then we could face life’s storms head on, like Peter did, and we could walk among the waves with a stillness in our hearts.

Lord Jesus, Fill us with your peace today.  The peace that surpasses all understanding.  Even if you choose not to still the storm that surrounds us right away, still the storm in our hearts.  Show us in fresh new ways that you are who you say you are.  You’ve got this all under control.  Lead us to trust you so much that we get out of the boat and walk on the very waves that are threatening to pull us under.  We love you, Lord. Amen.

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