If you live anywhere in the midwest, then the last week you have experienced some rather outrageous weather. It all started last Friday afternoon with storms passing through Indianapolis while Janet and I were watching a movie at a local theatre. By the time the movie ended, we were getting texts and updates about the severe weather. Along with the notifications was a photo from our son – showing the siding that had been blown off the side of his home.
It all happened so quickly – a beautiful day turned savage – bright sun-filled skies that suddenly became dark gray and filled with ominous clouds. The wind picked up and continued to get worse. In fact, it was one of the most unpredictable weather days in recent history. We called the insurance company and took photos of the damage – it was difficult to believe the condition of the siding.
Andrew was home when it all happened. He said that it sounded like a freight train as the wind caught the side of the house and tore the siding loose. And then several hours later, peace seemed to return to the area. But the entire week-end was filled with the ups and downs of unpredictable weather. Temperatures rose and fell and while one day was announcing the arrival of spring, the next reminded us that winter was still here.
And then Tuesday evening we suffered through another storm. The wind and rain were relentless. In fact, I went out and took our flag down – I was concerned that the entire pole would be torn from the ground. The flag was ripped and torn from the unrelenting wind. I will replace it before the beginning of spring. The severe weather continued in waves throughout the entire night. I laid in bed and listened to the storms outside. But that’s not all of it – Andrew’s home took another hit and even more of the siding was torn from the structure.
I saw photos and then the actual home this morning. It is just another illustration of how powerful the wind is and how we have no control over what it does. Sometimes, it is a gentle summer breeze and at other times, we see tornadoes and hurricanes in the news. Places such as Ottawa, IL had hail the size of baseballs – that’s right – baseballs! There were photos in the paper and throughout the internet.
My brother has a church building and parsonage in Ottawa and he told me this evening that two large, beautiful stained glass windows in the sanctuary were destroyed and are beyond repair. Additionally, a tree fell on the little parsonage next door and he believes that it will probably have to be bulldozed and rebuilt from scratch. The damage was devastating and insurance companies are being inundated with claims.
When things like this happen, it is a great reminder of how strong the wind, rain and hail can be. And how we have no control over things like this. Eventually, everything will get sorted out and repairs will be made – life will go on.
While we have limitations, that’s not the case with God. He can control anything and everything! In fact, the Scripture is quite clear on this point. There are many references to the wind and even to comparisons to the Holy Spirit. But the most incredible reference to the wind is when we hear the story of the disciples crossing the water and Jesus is asleep in the boat. The disciples, afraid that they are going to die, awaken Jesus and He rebukes the wind – suddenly everything is quiet and calm. The disciples marvel at this and wonder who has the power to control the wind. Of course, the answer is Jesus!
Later in the Scripture, another similar incident happens with the wind and the authority that Jesus demonstrates over the weather. Only this time, the disciples remarked that they now knew who Jesus really was – they had learned from the Master during their time with Him. Our verse for this evening comes from the Gospel of Mark and tells the story of the first time the disciples thought they would succumb to the wind and rain. We are told, in Mark Mark 4:37-41, “A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 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?” He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
My encouragement this evening is that we serve a God who is omnipotent – all powerful! He created the heavens and the earth and everything in them. My prayer is that you will take a moment to consider the awesome power of God next time you see dramatic weather. After all, we, in our human frailty, can’t even begin to control the weather. But God can; and the wind and the rain and the hail, as well as the snow, answer to God. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…