Dear Friends and Family,

We pray that you and your loved ones have successfully weathered last week’s epic, historical polar vortex of brutally cold temperatures and freezing precipitation that affected the entire state of Texas as well as other parts of this country. Our life storms and Mother Nature’s storms are not news to God. No matter how epic the proportions of our storms—our personal crises—appear to us, Jesus is still Lord of the Storm. No matter what kind of storm Jesus encountered—a storm on the Sea of Galilee, a storm of controversy over his teachings and healings, or even the storm of his trial and crucifixion—Jesus was in control – the Lord of the Storm. The wind and the waves obeyed him, and death could not hold him in the grave.

In Growing Deep in the Christian Life Charles Swindoll writes:
God may be invisible, but He’s in touch. You may not be able to see Him, but He is in control. And that includes you—your circumstances. That includes what you’ve just lost. That includes what you’ve just gained. That includes all of life—past, present, future (98).

The storms in our life confront us with a choice of perspectives: to choose the fatalism the world offers or to choose faith in the Lord of the Storm. Though we may express belief in John Flavel’s familiar aphorism, “Man’s extremity is God’s opportunity,” we sometimes find ourselves unprepared to yield to God’s sovereignty while in the midst of our own life’s tempest.

Battle Plan for the Next Storm

In the Book of Exodus, Moses found himself with six hundred thousand Israelite men and their families sandwiched between Pharaoh’s armies behind them and the Red Sea in front of them—the perfect storm.

Earlier in Moses’ initial meeting with God when He commissioned Moses the task of leading the Hebrews out of Egyptian slavery, God asked Moses what he held in his hand. Moses replied, “A staff,” and God tells him to throw it on the ground.

Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it.  Then the Lord said to him, “Reach out your hand and take it by the tail.” So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand. “This,” said the Lord, “is so that they may believe that the Lord, the God of their fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has appeared to you” (Exodus 4:3b-5).

Moses had no confidence in his own abilities and had little faith or experience with God – but Moses threw down his staff, exchanging a shepherd’s tool and protection for an instrument of God’s almighty power. As Moses and his people face the raging Red Sea, Moses is beset by the storm of protest, despair, and criticism of his people and by the storm of the threat of annihilation at the hands of the Egyptian Pharaoh and his army. God once again tells him to raise his staff. (See Exodus 14:10 – 15:3)

13 And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.

As we closely examine these passages, three principles emerge from this storm in Moses’ life:

Stand firm—do not shake with fear. It’s as if God says to his people through Moses in 14:13, “Quit your wailing and flailing and watch me fight for you!” They still needed to trust him and step out into the sea. Robert G. Morgan, author of The Red Sea Rules, explains:

This is what the biblical phrase “wait on the Lord” is about:  committing our Red Sea situations to Him in prayer, trusting Him, and waiting for Him to work. Doing that runs counter to our proactive and assertive selves, but many a modern migraine would be cured by a good dose of Psalm 37:7-8:  “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him… Do not fret—it only causes harm.”

If you’re in a difficult place right now, perhaps you need to entrust the problem to the Lord and leave it in His hands awhile. He alone can storm the impregnable, devise the improbable, and perform the impossible. He alone can part the waters (57).

Our storms, new and often overwhelming, are neither new nor insurmountable for God. We need to only trust Him.

Face the storm in God’s power—not in your own strength. In Exodus 4, God took Moses’ basic shepherd’s tool, his staff, and turned it into an instrument of supernatural power. Moses exchanged what he could do in his own strength for what God empowered him to do in His strength. Joni Eareckson Tada describes what happened later on the shores of the Red Sea:

When God parted the Red Sea, he told Moses to “raise your staff.” After the glorious miracle occurred, Moses was careful to refer to it as “the staff of God” [Exodus 17:9]. It was just an ordinary stick of wood, but when the Lord chose it for his tool, the staff took on new ownership and meaning.

God can exchange the tragic meaning behind accidents or injuries for good and for something new and positive. The cross is a good example. What was once a symbol of torture and pain now represents hope and salvation.  My wheelchair, which once signified tragedy and confinement, is the very thing that now gives me freedom and mobility.

When God uses for his glory the most ordinary things—such as a staff, or a cross, or a wheelchair—he gives each one unique and special meaning…

What are the symbols of tragedy in your life? …God can exchange the meaning of the heartbreak for something hopeful and positive. God did it at the cross, and he can do it for you (84).

Our storms won’t go away by the power of positive thinking or in our own pitiful strength. Only when we throw down the staff of our own self efforts and pick up the Presence of God, can we claim, “my God can do all things!”

God gives his children a song of faith. Robert Morgan describes the moment of song at the Red Sea:

At first there was dead silence. Picture it:  a mute multitude gazing in stunned disbelief at a body of water whose powerful surges had first saved by saving, then had saved by destroying. Now the terror was over; the enemy was gone; the night was past. Nothing was left but the stillness of a shocked people at daybreak.

Finally someone breathed. Then came a whisper, a buzzing, the rumblings of a volcano of emotion about to erupt into sky-shattering doxologies. Someone shouted, “I will sing to the Lord, for He has triumphed gloriously! The horse and its rider he has thrown into the sea!” (122).

Morgan challenges us when he writes, “Maybe we need a crisis. One of the reasons God puts us in tough situations—or allows us to be there—is to give us the opportunity to sound forth His praises. He expects our gratitude for His deliverances” (123).

We must have our spiritual eyes opened to know the greatness of our “Storm Warrior.” Our lives are full of impassable situations just like the impassable Red Sea. While Satan deceitfully works to steal our joy and replace our victory song with litanies of fear, doubt, and “poor me,” God finds the opportunity to remind us that he is both faithful and powerful. When we place our faith in him, as did Moses and his people, our testimony becomes a song of God’s Presence and unimaginable Power. It becomes a hymn of gratitude and praise that glorifies God.

Robert Morgan closes his book with this hymn by the German hymnist, Paul Gerhardt:

Commit whatever grieves thee

Into the gracious hands
Of Him who never leaves thee,
Who heaven and earth commands;
Who points the clouds their courses,
Whom winds and waves obey,
He will direct thy footsteps And find for thee a way (128).

We pray this hymn over you as a prayer that you would rest in His Hands without fear of tomorrow in spite of your storms.

May His Blessings be with you,
Ron and Beth Wells

Centrepoint Ministries

PS: Thank you for helping support Centrepoint Ministries through your prayers and gifts as we reach out to individuals and families in crisis.

Morgan, Robert J. Red Sea Rules. W. Publishing Group, 2014.
Swindoll, Charles R. Growing Deep in the Christian Life. Zondervan Publishing House, 1995.
Tada, Joni Eareckson. “Exchange the Meeting,” Seniors Devotional Bible NIV.
Zondervan Publishing House, 1995.