It is well.

When you awoke this morning, eyes blurred and arms stretched out, was your first thought for the day, “it is well?”  Sadly I’d say for many of us, it indeed was not.  It is not well.  I am not okay.  This is not the way life was supposed to be.  For many it’s just another day of surviving.

Have you ever driven at night during a horrible snow storm, in blizzard conditions?  The newscasters plead with us to stay off the roads because our visibility is compromised.  They’ll say there is “0% visibility out there tonight,” as in you won’t see within a foot in front of you.  Driving requires vision.  And when we don’t have it, it can be a frightening and fatal experience.  Luckily, more often than not in a big storm, we have the luxury of cooping up in our homes, allowing the world to require nothing of us for one day.  We are all in the same boat.

What happens, though, when the storm that comes is not in snow form?  When the storms take on the form of life’s everyday struggles: a death, an illness, an ending, a beginning…  These storms paralyze us just as much as the snow did, if not more, but this time the world around us is still passing by.  We have zero percent visibility in what’s next for our life, yet we’re still required to take a step.  And another step.  And another.

How do we walk when we can’t see where we’re going?

How do we guide a boat in an ocean that keeps bringing waves?

How do we move forward when the weight of the storm is causing us to sink?

The ocean can be a scary place.  It’s a beautiful creation of God, but it’s a creation not to be reckoned with.  And when you’re on a boat in the middle of the ocean and a storm comes through, you can feel utterly alone and hopeless.  Life can be a scary place.  And when you’re on track in the middle of life and a storm comes through, you can feel utterly alone and hopeless.  The bad news is, if you’re alone, it can be fatal.

The good news is, you are not alone.

You are not alone in what you’re going through.  You are not alone in how you feel.  And most importantly you are not alone because you have a God who never forsakes you.

You have a God who, even in zero percent visibility, calls us to not predict our path, but to depend on His visible light.

You have a God who’s expert in calming storms.

So why are you still in one?

“The Lord is not as much intent on taking away the pain in your life as He is on teaching you to trust Him through it.” – Steven Furtick

Sometimes God calms the storm in our souls before he calms the storm of our circumstance.

The Bible shows us what happens when Jesus is in our storms.

35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”

39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” (Mark 4:35-41)

Jesus, don’t you care if we drown?  God, where are you?  Don’t you love me?  Why would you let this happen to me?  Don’t you care?

This story clearly shows that Jesus was in the same storm the disciples were in.  He is with them.  But the difference is, Jesus was so calm during it all he was asleep, on a cushion no less.  Not a worry in the world.  Why?  What purpose would it serve us to have a God who panicked every time a storm came just as we do?  What does that accomplish?  Jesus was just as much in control while he was asleep as while he was awake.

Because even the wind and the waves obey Him…

So why don’t we trust Him?  Just like the disciples I think most of us know He’s there.  In the disciples case He was there, physically.  For us, we have to believe He’s there, and for the most part, we do.  But we don’t believe He cares.  He’s asleep.  He’s unavailable.  He’s going to let us drown.

But this story in the Gospel of Mark gives us hope.  Because even when we panic, Jesus does not.  Even when we’re scared, Jesus is calm.  Even when we’re drowning, Jesus is there.  He may awaken and calm the storm or He may not.  I can’t promise a better tomorrow just yet.  But I can promise, through Scripture, He is there.

And if He does wake up and He does calm the storm, He’s going to turn to us and ask, “Why are you so afraid?”

And our eyes will gaze upon Him with bewilderment, seeing the ever perfect God love on our imperfect selves, and our souls will cry out,

It is well.

“Why are you so afraid?”  It is well.

Jesus put us all on life rafts and went down with the ship.  Jesus died on a cross, so that we may live.

So why let us drown now?  It is well.

Why give up now?  It is well.

Why lose hope now?  It is well.

Jesus is with you.

Through it all…

Through it all…

It is well.

Grander earth has quaked before
Moved by the sound of His voice

Seas that are shaken and stirred
Can be calmed and broken for my regard

Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
Through it all, through it all
It is well
Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
It is well with me

Far be it from me to not believe
Even when my eyes can’t see

And this mountain that’s in front of me
Will be thrown into the midst of the sea

So let go my soul and trust in Him
The waves and wind still know His name

It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul
It is well, it is well with my soul

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