I love a good storm – particularly a relentlessly-raining, thunder-clapping, lightning-sparking, middle-of-the-night-ing kind of storm. I know ‘middle-of-the-nighting’ is NOT a word, but it works for poetic effect!

I love a good storm, provided of course that I’m inside my house, cosily tucked up in bed!

But if I was in a rickety-wooden boat, in the midst of a raging sea, surrounded by the blackest of nights, with waves angrily roaring around me – well, then – I might feel a little different 🙂

Earlier in November, I had the privilege of leading a trip to the Holy Land – 9 days in Jordan and Israel with a group of 28 brilliant people. The biggest highlight by far was our boat trip on the Sea of Galilee. It was the most perfect of days. Blue skies, a sea of glass, and the glowing warmth of the Sun on our skin.

As we glided across the waters, we were reminded of that moment in Matthew 8:23-27, where Jesus’ disciples were battling with a brutal night-time storm, fearing for the lives, and yet wondering how Jesus could possibly be so deeply asleep. How do you sleep in a raging storm? Didn’t He care that they were all about to drown?

Of course, Jesus did care, and so when they woke Him he simply stood up and spoke to the storm and said…

“Chill out!”

(Or something similar!)

Immediately, the storm died down and incredibly peace and silence descended, and 12 disciples stood in awe and wonder at the God-man who has the authority and power to calm storms.

And Jesus does have the authority and power to calm storms BUT He also has the power and authority to sleep in a storm. I’m not sure which is more impressive!

Storms will always come and go in our lives – and we should give Heaven no rest as we pray until they finally calm down. But in the meantime, I want to learn how to sleep well in the storms of life. Jesus managed to sleep – and sleep deeply – whilst getting soaking wet, being rocked all over the place, and undisturbed by the loud shouts of his fellow boatsman or their chundering over the sides (too much?).

How did He do this? Because He is the ‘Prince of Peace’ (Isaiah 9:6)! He is the God of all peace (2 Thessalonians 3:16). He is that God who is able to bring peace to our troubled lives, even when it makes no sense to be at peace (Philippians 4:6-7).

I don’t fully understand how all this works – but then again, that’s ok, because I’m not God.

But I do understand this – as I daily ask God to fill me with His peace. As I invite the ‘shalom’ of God (His thriving, flourishing, wellbeing) to rest on my life – I start to discover what the hymn writer, Horatio Spafford, beautifully captured when he wrote the song ‘It is well with my soul.’

Church leader and author Bill Johnson once said, “You have authority over any storm you can sleep through.”

He’s right.

I’m praying for my storms – and yours – to end for sure. But in the meantime, I’m looking at the storm and reminding myself that God is bigger, that God is at work, that God has got me, that God is for me, and that God alone can give me the priceless gift of unexpected peace. I may as well sleep, and let God keep working 24×7 I say!

May we all learn too as we seek our rest and peace in Him.