Helping Each Other See Jesus In The Aftermath Of A Storm

Life's storms and their aftermath can obstruct our view of Jesus. We need spiritual friends to help us clear away the rubble and see Jesus again.

Helping Each Other See Jesus In The Aftermath Of A Storm

July 7, 2022

The thundering boom shook the house and broke my concentration. That sounded really close.

A quick look out our window showed me just how close. During the thunderstorm, the wind snapped the trunk of a huge white oak tree and knocked it across our road. While electric storms frequently visit Southwest Virginia during these summer months, I had never seen destruction like this before. Sometimes it isn’t just the storm, but also its aftermath, that sends us reeling.

I’ve found this to be true of our spiritual life as well. When life’s storms attack, they usher in loss, fear, and doubts. And just as the fallen oak tree blocked our roadway, the aftermath of these storms can hinder my spiritual walk. 

As I watched my husband and father-in-law work to clear the tree from our road, my thoughts turned to someone in the Bible who understood how life’s storms can undermine our faith. In his story I find inspiration and comfort. 

Called to prepare the way for the Lord, John the Baptist faithfully preached a message of repentance (Matthew 3:1-3). Later, John baptized Jesus and recognized Him as the One sent by God (John 1:29-34). As he continued to proclaim Jesus as the Messiah, many of his own disciples left him to follow Jesus (John 1:35-42). But rather than feeling competitive or discouraged, John embraced the need for Jesus to become the priority (John 3:27-30). In every way, he exemplified a faithful and obedient life.

But then the storm hit. Herod, the tetrarch who ruled Galilee, recognized John as a righteous and holy man (Mark 6:20). But when John challenged his unlawful marriage to Herodias, Herod sent him to prison (Luke 3:19-20). After about a year in prison, John’s faith began to waver. The one who had prepared the way for Jesus began to doubt:

When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” (Matthew 11:2-3 NIV)

During the storm and its aftermath, John lost sight of Jesus and the truth he once believed. But even though he doubted, John chose to reach out to Jesus for help. Because of his imprisonment, he needed his disciples to take his questions to Jesus. 

I love how Jesus responded:

Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. (Matthew 11:4-5 NIV)

The words Jesus chose held special significance for John because they reference Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah (Isaiah 35:5-6; Isaiah 61:1-2). As his disciples brought the message back to John, it gave him the assurance he needed to restore his faith.

John’s story  illustrates the beautiful truth found in these verses:

Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
     and he brought them out of their distress.

He stilled the storm to a whisper;
     the waves of the sea were hushed. (Psalm 107:28-29 NIV)

None of us are immune to life’s storms. Spiritual storms and their impact often obstruct our view of Jesus. We all need godly friends to help us clear away the storm’s rubble so we can see Jesus again.

Wherever our life’s journey takes us next, I’m sure more storms loom on the horizon. Let’s help each other refocus our eyes on the One who can still the storms to a whisper. 

Helping Each Other See Jesus In The Aftermath Of A Storm

July 7, 2022

Life's storms and their aftermath can obstruct our view of Jesus. We need spiritual friends to help us clear away the rubble and see Jesus again.

The thundering boom shook the house and broke my concentration. That sounded really close.

A quick look out our window showed me just how close. During the thunderstorm, the wind snapped the trunk of a huge white oak tree and knocked it across our road. While electric storms frequently visit Southwest Virginia during these summer months, I had never seen destruction like this before. Sometimes it isn’t just the storm, but also its aftermath, that sends us reeling.

I’ve found this to be true of our spiritual life as well. When life’s storms attack, they usher in loss, fear, and doubts. And just as the fallen oak tree blocked our roadway, the aftermath of these storms can hinder my spiritual walk. 

As I watched my husband and father-in-law work to clear the tree from our road, my thoughts turned to someone in the Bible who understood how life’s storms can undermine our faith. In his story I find inspiration and comfort. 

Called to prepare the way for the Lord, John the Baptist faithfully preached a message of repentance (Matthew 3:1-3). Later, John baptized Jesus and recognized Him as the One sent by God (John 1:29-34). As he continued to proclaim Jesus as the Messiah, many of his own disciples left him to follow Jesus (John 1:35-42). But rather than feeling competitive or discouraged, John embraced the need for Jesus to become the priority (John 3:27-30). In every way, he exemplified a faithful and obedient life.

But then the storm hit. Herod, the tetrarch who ruled Galilee, recognized John as a righteous and holy man (Mark 6:20). But when John challenged his unlawful marriage to Herodias, Herod sent him to prison (Luke 3:19-20). After about a year in prison, John’s faith began to waver. The one who had prepared the way for Jesus began to doubt:

When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” (Matthew 11:2-3 NIV)

During the storm and its aftermath, John lost sight of Jesus and the truth he once believed. But even though he doubted, John chose to reach out to Jesus for help. Because of his imprisonment, he needed his disciples to take his questions to Jesus. 

I love how Jesus responded:

Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. (Matthew 11:4-5 NIV)

The words Jesus chose held special significance for John because they reference Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah (Isaiah 35:5-6; Isaiah 61:1-2). As his disciples brought the message back to John, it gave him the assurance he needed to restore his faith.

John’s story  illustrates the beautiful truth found in these verses:

Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
     and he brought them out of their distress.

He stilled the storm to a whisper;
     the waves of the sea were hushed. (Psalm 107:28-29 NIV)

None of us are immune to life’s storms. Spiritual storms and their impact often obstruct our view of Jesus. We all need godly friends to help us clear away the storm’s rubble so we can see Jesus again.

Wherever our life’s journey takes us next, I’m sure more storms loom on the horizon. Let’s help each other refocus our eyes on the One who can still the storms to a whisper. 

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2 Comments

  1. Teresa on July 8, 2022 at 7:08 AM

    Shirley, thanks for the encouraging words today because we all have those moments when doubt fills our heads and causes us to wonder if God is listening. It is nice to know that even strong men of God struggled with knowing whether God was real.

    • Shirley Desmond Jackson on July 8, 2022 at 11:50 AM

      Thank you Teresa. I can sometimes be critical of myself for having doubts. I’m glad there are Biblical heroes who had them, too. They help me know I can deal with my doubts and restore my faith. 💕

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