In the wake of Harvey and Irma, and in anticipation of Jose and Katia, today seems like an appropriate time to take stock of the storm stories that dot the biblical landscape. And seascape, for that matter.
Here are my five favorite:
- Jesus’ contrast of the wise and foolish builders in Matthew 7:24-27. At the conclusion of the Sermon On The Mount (ever considered what you’d do for an encore after delivering that?), Jesus makes the remarkable claim that if you put into practice what you have just heard your life will weather life’s inevitable storms, much like a man who builds his house on rock. If you decline to put his words into your practice, then your house will fall, much like one with a foundation of sand, and great will be the fall of it.
2. Jesus sleeping on the boat with his panicked disciples in Mark 4:35-41. I love this story because not only does it demonstrate that Jesus has authority over the forces of nature, it also shows that the disciples are more frightened of his power than they ever were of the storm.
3. Isaiah’s picture of the sheltering presence of God in 25:1-8. The fact that Israel’s God is a “shelter from the storm” offers a foreshadow of the eternal rest that awaits us in glory.
4. The never-ending storm in Acts 27:13-44. While on his way to Rome, Paul gets derailed — or is it desailed? — by a storm that goes on and on and on and on. By the end of the journey, Paul and his companions have nothing left except God … which is probably the point all along.
5. Drunk, naked Noah after the storm in Genesis 9:18-29. This story does not make it into ANY illustrated children’s bible story about Noah, the ark, and the flood. But it’s in the bible, and it is graphic, disturbing, and ultimately revealing. It’s the kind of story that makes us ask: who cleans up after the messes you make with your life?
These storm stories actually form the basis of The Storm Before The Calm, a bible study & small group resource that you can purchase from Abingdon Press here.