“That day when evening came, He said to His disciples, ‘Let us go over to the other side.’ Leaving the crowd behind, they took Him along, just as He was, in the boat. There were also other boats with Him. 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!’” —Mark 4:35-41
About three years ago my daughter Hayden was born. My wife Elizabeth and I were thrilled to welcome her into the world! Leading up to that day, everything was going so well, but on the day of the delivery we were thrown into a storm.
Hayden was nearly lifeless at birth and was given a 1 on the APGAR scale. Doctors estimate that she was without sufficient oxygen for about 20 minutes. Hayden was resuscitated, intubated, and placed on a ventilator as well as a cooling blanket that reduced her core body temperature to 92 degrees. After the delivery, the neonatal neurologist came to the waiting room and said, “We don’t know what will happen in the long run but right now your daughter’s pupils aren’t dilating and there are a lot of things that should be happening that are not.”
I went into Elizabeth’s room and announced that it was a girl and she looked at me with pride and excitement and asked, “How’s she doing?” It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do to look at my wife and say, “Not very good.”
In that moment Elizabeth and I had to trust Jesus more than ever before, leaning on Him for strength when we felt like we were drowning.
In the passage above, the disciples ask Jesus, “Don’t You care if we drown?” We’re likely to be tempted to ask the same question in the midst of whatever storm we’re facing at any given time, but when we look back at all that Jesus has done for us, we know that He cares so much for us. Jesus cares if we drown. He doesn’t want us to drown—in fact, He won’t let us drown. That doesn’t mean He won’t prevent the storm, but He will always be there to take care of us in our time of need. The key is this; we need to stay in the boat with Him.
At that moment, we didn’t know if we would have one full day with our daughter, but today we can look back after spending three years with our healthy, happy daughter and thank God for His miraculous provision. Doctors were amazed at the progress Hayden made over the eight days in the NICU. They told us they could not explain medically how she recovered from such traumatic birth so quickly or even at all. God decided to let us take our daughter home, but no matter what the outcome of our storm may be, we are able to trust in a God whose desire is for us to draw close to Him during the storms of life.
For every storm we go through, there is an opportunity to grow in our ability to trust in God as we wait for Him to calm the waves. Often times, after he does calm the storm, we are able to see the reason for the storm with more clarity. Every challenge is a chance to experience God’s provision and blessings in a whole new way.
Kyle Gibson is a pitcher with the Minnesota Twins and a regular contributor to The Increase, providing monthly articles and opinions.
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