‘And He said to them, “Where is your faith?” They were fearful and amazed, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey Him?’ (Luke 8:25)
In the story of Jonah, you will remember that Jonah went to the inner recesses of the boat in which he was travelling, when God sent a storm which almost caused the boat to be overturned. Having been awakened, Jonah was convicted of his sin, and knew that God was trying to get his attention. He told the sailors that were with him to throw him off the boat, which they were originally very relunctant to do, but because of the storm, and Jonah’s insistence, they eventually did. The result was that the storm IMMEDIATELY died down.
Now if there ever was a sign, that was surely it. Signs are like that – you cannot miss them. This was one of those occasions when it was painfully evident that Jonah was right, and that God, indeed, had sent the storm. The storm, in this case, was not “earthly” manufactured, but was “heavenly” manufactured. In other words, it was not caused merely as a result of warm and hot air patterns coming into contact with one another. It was divinely orchestrated and planned. And it was due to one man’s disobedience. You will recall that God had commanded Jonah to go to Nineveh and preach repetance. Instead, Jonah had disobeyed by taking a ship in the other direction. This made God angry, and rightfully so.
Take a look and see all of the implications of this storm and Jonah’s disobedience. First, his own disobedience put the lives of many other people in jeopardy. Think of those people who were on the boat and the families that were represented. One man’s sin, in this case, was putting in jeopardy the lives of many others. These were innocent people (though none of us is really innocent, for we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God – Romans 3:23). But with respect to Jonah, they were innocent. They knew nothing of his problem. But their lives were still very much put in jeopardy.
In this respect, is our sin putting the lives of others around us in jeopardy? I think it is fair to say that sin always does that. It puts lives in jeopardy. We cannot think that our sin only affects us. The truth of the matter is that our sin affects others, too, and no sin can really affect “us alone”. Why? Because our sin makes us ineffective for God. When we are ineffective, we don’t do as we should. And that means that lives that could have been blessed through us, no longer are. Our sin, therefore, always affects others, whether we like it or not. It affects others by depriving them of the blessing that they could have received if we had not sinned.
Another implication of the storm is that there is a God to whom we must all one day give an account. None of us is really innocent. We will all have to stand before a holy and awesome God, who created us, and who has a divine purpose for our lives. Did we walk in that plan so it could be fulfilled? Have we lived up to his expectations for us? What can, or should, we do in order to get right with him? What things has he told us to do, right now, that we still have not done? Perhaps we could (and should) make a list of those things, and start doing them, right now! For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, the Bible says. And, it is appointed unto man once to die, and then comes the judgment. (Hebrews 9:27) Are you ready?
So, you see, storms can mean a lot. And we really should pay attention to them. Perhaps there is a storm brewing in your life right now. It is possible that the God who made the heavens and the seas, and who had ultimate control over weather patterns and storms, is trying to speak to you? Please, for your sake, and many other people’s sake as well, do not disregard this possibility. Go to God today, and ask him, “What would you have me do, Lord?” The Lord is able to speak to you, and to help you make the right decisions so that your life will be put back “on track”, exactly where he wants it to be. Trust him today.
If you do not know this Lord, and you are wondering, “Who is this Lord who is able to control even the winds and the sea?” may I encourage you to get a copy of the Holy Bible at a Christian bookstore, and to begin reading it today. Find a good Bible believing church, and get involved. May the Lord bless you as you do.