More bad news. Killings in El Paso. Shootings in Ohio. All this on the heels of a violent weekend last week. All this violence adding up to too many mass shootings in just 216 days. Is our society coming unraveled? How are we to respond to this dark season of bloodshed?

Anger is the choice of many. Anger at politicians. Anger at the NRA. Anger at God. We become bitter and sour toward this world; toward one another. Fear is another option. Lock the doors and close the windows. Avoid every shadow and dark alley.

Yet, do we want to be a nation of fear and anger? But what can we do? The best known storm-story in the Bible provides some direction.

“When evening came, [Jesus’] disciples went down to the lake, where they got into a boat and set off across the lake for Capernaum. By now it was dark, and Jesus had not yet joined them. A strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough (John 6:16-18).

The hearts of the followers began to sink as their boat was certain to do. Their skin was soaked, throats hoarse, eyes, wide. They searched the sky for a break in the clouds. They gripped the boat for fear of the waves. They screamed their prayers for help. But they heard nothing.

But then the unimaginable happened. “They saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water; and they were frightened. But He said to them, ‘It is I; don’t be afraid’” (John 6:19- 20).

The literal translation of what Jesus said is “I AM; don’t be afraid.” I AM is God’s name. If God had a calling card, it would contain this imprint: I AM. Ever since Moses saw the burning bush that refused to burn up, God has called himself, “I AM” (Exodus 3:14). This is the title of steadiness and power. When we wonder if God is coming, he answers with his name: “I AM!” When we wonder if he is able, he declares, “I AM.” When we see nothing but darkness, feel nothing but doubt, and wonder if God is near or aware, the welcome answer from Jesus is this: “I AM!”

Let’s pause and invite God to tell us his name. Our greatest need is his presence. Yes, we want this storm to pass. Yes, we want the winds to still. But yes, yes, yes, we want to know, need to know, and must know that the great I AM is coming.

Such was the experience of the disciples. The moment they invited Christ into their boat was the moment they reached their destination. So they gladly took him aboard, and at once the boat reached the shore they were making for” (John 6:21).

Let’s follow the example of the disciples. Welcome Jesus into the midst of this turbulent time.

Don’t let the storm turn you inward. Let it turn you upward.

Listen and see if you don’t hear him say: I AM with you in the storm.

© Max Lucado, August 4, 2019

Photo: TexasTribune.org
This article first appeared at FoxNews.com

14 comments on “These Stormy Times

  1. you know you post nothing but wisdom brother. I read your posts every day. Yours and Billy Graham. Both have pure wisdom. I tremble with a smile everytime I hear the name .”I AM”. Most people don’t realize that that is why the soldiers and Pharisees fell backward in the garden after the kiss of death from Judas. Cause they asked him if he was Jesus of Nazareth and he answered , “I AM”…!!!! You cannot stand in the presence of God when he says his name. At least thats what I believe caused their falling backwards. God bless ya man….signed Preacher.

  2. Thank you for these encouraging words from scripture. We need to put down party lines and realize these times are not caused by any one person, but rather from our country turning away from God. This is not a political battle but one of the power of darkness. It is the degradation of humanity and hearts that need redemption. We need to focus on the hearts and minds of the lost, the hurting, the bullied and the mentally ill. These cannot be voted on but one by one ministered to with God’s love and power.
    I thank the Lord for His servants who have the ears of those who can and will speak out to institute change in our leaders, rather than having them waste time and money as they fight amongst themselves to accuse who may hold the most guilt or responsibility for these acts of hatred and violence toward our fellow men and women of all colors and social statuses. Anyone who refuses to be part of the solution is to blame and only God can and will judge at the designated times.

  3. Thank you for these encouraging words from scripture. We need to put down party lines and realize these times are not caused by any one person, but rather from our country turning away from God. This is not a political battle but one of the power of darkness. It is the degradation of humanity and hearts that need redemption. We need to focus on the hearts and minds of the lost, the hurting, the bullied and the mentally ill. These cannot be voted on but one by one ministered to with God’s love and power.
    I thank the Lord for His servants who have the ears of those who can and will speak out to institute change in our leaders, rather than having them waste time and money as they fight amongst themselves to accuse who may hold the most guilt or responsibility for these acts of hatred and violence toward our fellow men and women of all colors and social statuses. Anyone who refuses to be part of the solution is to blame and only God can and will judge at the designated times.

  4. We need to keep our eyes upon Jesus all the time. He will never fail us when we trust and obey Him. Thanks be to our Savior , our Lord for all things. ❤

  5. This is certainly true. People don’t realize that they need Jesus in their lives. He can heal the pain of suffering in the lives of those who need it. Everyday something terrible happens but with Jesus in your life you can and will be comforted.

  6. Thank you Jesus for being the great I AM! For always being with us & giving us shelter through the storms of life! We love you & praise your holy name forever❤️

  7. I, personally, am ensuring a storm. A Father who does not know how to love;is always angry. Thinks only he matters….
    It is, therefore, so difficult to see’ I AM’ in !y personal storm…

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    I will read this again and again again for the ready of my life.

  9. This spoke to my heart! Your gift for arranging words on a page is miraculous. I’m so thankful you choose to share your gift. God bless. ♥️

  10. So well said, and so timely! We do see so much anger; not of God…and the more time we spend being angry, the less time we spend in awareness of His Precious Presence. Prayer and encouragement and support of others helps us…and them…and God. To Him be the Glory! 🙂

  11. If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray; seek my face, turn from their wicked ways…then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin and heal their land. 2nd Chronivles 7:14. (call Christians/churches to prayer).
    Praying for America.

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