Theme of the Week: Strength in the Storm
Bible Verse: “Then the LORD sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up.” – Jonah 1:4
Scripture Reading: Jonah 1:1-17
One of the worst winter storms that I ever experienced was on a family ski trip in the U.S. several years back. We were done our skiing and we were heading to Rochester to stay the night. As we drove, it began to snow more and more. It got so bad that by the time it was dark, it was a full-on blizzard with whiteout conditions.
Over the next two hours we thought many times about exiting at an off-ramp and going to a random town and staying in a hotel for the night. As it turned out, I kept driving through the storm – white knuckles and all – and we finally arrived safely at our destination.
This week we’ll be looking at the metaphor of storms, representing the challenging events and adversity that we all face in our lives from time to time. These storms might come in the form of physical injury and sickness. Perhaps it’s the death of a loved one. We might also deal with storms of a financial variety. Maybe we’re dealing with job loss or we own a company and we’re going through bankruptcy. Storms can also be of a relational nature, where we’re going through a breakup with our girlfriend or the finality of a divorce.
These storms can lead to arguably the greatest storm of all – one of a spiritual nature – where because of these storms, we begin to question God in our lives. We might wonder why He’s allowing these things to happen or why He won’t help us.
The book of Jonah talks about a storm. We’re likely familiar with how Jonah was in the belly of a big fish for three days and three nights. We also know that God sent him to preach repentance to the city of Nineveh but Jonah refused and fled in the other direction on a ship. What’s not often remembered is that God then sent a storm upon the ship. Long story short, the storm eventually caused Jonah to turn and go to the Ninevites, thereby accomplishing God’s great and mighty purposes.
In the midst of our storms, we might wonder if we’re simply pawns in God’s plan. But Jesus’ painful sacrifice on the cross reminds us that we cannot be pawns but rather are dearly loved children of God. That said, the Bible teaches that God is sovereign and in control of all things, including the storms of our lives. The book of Jonah also reminds us that life is not about you or me. It’s about God first and foremost. It’s about a mighty and loving God who’s working in you and me and in this city and that city and Nineveh.
So as we deal with storms which come upon us on occasion, let us remember we are in God’s great and caring hands.
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