- Joseph Riollano
The Storm Can Come On Suddenly
"On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.” Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!” Mark 4:35-41 There are many examples I can give you about the “storms of life.” Some of these examples may or may not touch your life. However, I have decided to tell you a story instead. One Wednesday, a man woke up early to start his day for work. His day started as normal. He woke up, brushed his teeth, made coffee as usual, and headed off to work. The highways were clear this particular morning, so he got to work relatively early. As he got to work, he checked in through the security points with no problems. Normally, they randomly stop people to check them, but this particular day he went right through the gate. The man walked into the building, and reported into work. The workday was good. It was not busy, but steady, and the man knew this day would go by relatively quickly ... or so he thought. Little did he knew this would be one of the longest days of his life! As the day went on, he helped some customers with all kinds of issues. If you have ever worked customer service, you know most of the time it is nothing but trouble shooting problems. However, this day, he was able to help everyone without any problems. As lunchtime approached, he got his lunch ready, went to the microwave a warmed up his lunch. It was one of his favorites, spaghetti. He loves it when he has spaghetti for lunch. After warming up his food, eating his lunch and started back at work. It was a great day with no complaints. This is where everything changed in his life! A few hours after lunch, the man receives text from his wife that tells him to call her. Since his wife was a stay at home mom, this was not unusual. Not thinking anything of it, he calls his wife. As his wife picked up the phone she sounded calm, but after many years of knowing her, he knew something was wrong. She asked him; well really, she tells him that he needs to come home because she needs to tell him something. He asked her a few times on the phone what was wrong, but she did not want to say. After a few minutes of the him begging his wife to tell him what was wrong, she refused. Not wanting to have an argument over the phone, the man told his supervisor what was going on and his supervisor told him to go home. On the way home, you can imagine what was going on in his mind. He thought ... What did I do now? What could be going on? Who am I going to have to fight? She’s leaving me. I’m in so much trouble, She’s in so much trouble. Is there police at my house? Who’s going to jail? Who do I have to bail out of jail, (crazy right, but for a guy, these things could go through their mind).
The fear of the unknown overtook him.
Nevertheless, he thought no one was dead, because she was too calm. He thought to himself, I am going to have to say sorry a lot when I get home for whatever I did. The good thing was this was a man that believed in God, so he started to pray on the way home. As he came home, everything looked okay; at least his wife did not run out the house screaming. He walked through the door of his home expecting all “you know what” to break loose, but once again, nothing. At this time of day, his wife would normally be getting ready to leave the house to pick their kids up from school. Therefore, that is what she was doing. The man proceeds to ask his wife, what is going on? She tells him, that she can tell him before or after they come back from getting the kids. Of course the man did not really know what to say, so he just turned around and said, “Tell me on the way. “ They get in their family van ... and at this moment, he heard news from his wife that would change his life forever. She says, “I am sorry to tell you this Joseph, but your dad just died." Yes, this story was about me on January 25, 2017. This news completely broke me. I was extremely angry with God. My relationship with my father was just at the point where I was able to open up to him about life. I thought to myself, what am I going to do? How am I going to go forward in life? I had so many things I wanted to talk to him about. I was an emotional wreck. Words could not explain what I was going through. I sought out professional counseling, I spoke with many pastors, and even my wife walked me through somethings. It was completely crazy. But in the end, I learned that through prayer I was going to be able to make it through.
The storms or problems in life will come, but it is how you deal with them that will determine your outcome.
My story was an example of a storm that I went through, just like the natural storm the disciples went through in the passage of scripture you read. These people received an instruction from Jesus to get into a boat and sail to the other side. I am sure they did not expect a storm to come on them, but inevitably, it did.
Have you ever experienced any storms in your life? Maybe it was one like mine, it could have been a loss of a child, it could have been a loss of a job, it could have been a doctor’s report, or something that was not that bad, but bad enough to be your storm. The scripture depicts the storm as it came on suddenly. The storm may come when you are minding your own business, just doing what the Lord told you to do. Have you ever had a storm suddenly come? As the storm grew stronger, the disciples became very scared and even awaken Jesus in their state of panic. At this point in the story, you really cannot judge them too much because they did what most of us do when problems come on us. They told Jesus, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” I know when my father passed away I sure had some words for Jesus. Yes, even me, a “man of God” was upset with Jesus. The good thing is I did not stay upset. I have to say, Jesus was a “cool cat” in the midst of the storm. He did not get scared, He was not upset, and He spoke to the very problem that was causing all the issues for the people He loved. Jesus gets up and first rebukes the wind. He gets rid of all the noise around them, the noise was not going to kill them, it was there to bring fear, but the water was the real issue. You see, when issues arise in your life, the first thing that you need to do is get rid of the noise. I am talking about all the noise from other people, the internet, the books (not the Bible) and especially your noise. Most of the time, it is the noise in your head that is killing you more than the problem itself. You may be hearing things like, you’re not going to make it, you’re stupid, you’re going to fail, this is too much, you can’t handle it, you should have done this, and many other things you can add to the list. This is not from Jesus. Jesus will only say positive things to you, only things that will uplift you and not crush you. The best thing that Jesus will tell you is, “I got it!” Whatever storm is give it to Jesus. In my storm, after I had words with Jesus, He told me just that. Jesus told me to me to give him my storm and He will handle to rest (1 Peter 5:7).
After Jesus rebuked the storm, He said to the real issue, which was the water, “Peace, Be Still!” Can you imagine the disciples face after this bold statement to a raging storm? However, Jesus knew the power that He had inside of Him and He had the confidence to say it. Here you see Jesus do two things, first He speaks opposite of what was happening, “Peace." Then He tells the storm how He wanted it to be, “Be Still.” When you are facing the storm of your life, do the same. Speak opposite of what is going on and tell it what you want it to be. If you are experiencing confusion, speak order. If are experiencing fear, speak peace. If you are experiencing sickness, speak life. Whatever you are going through the power is in your tongue. That is what I had to do in my storm. I had to speak, peace, life, order, direction, love, hope, grace, mercy and the list goes on. Even today, I still have to speak these things.
In life, you will experience storms. that. Nevertheless, it is how you deal with the storm that will determine your outcome. Are you going to choose to be fearful, angry, sad, depressed or are you going to speak to your storm with confidence that can only come from Jesus? I challenge you to seek God in the midst of your storm. With God on your side, you will come out of every storm victorious.
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