I don’t know where you’re reading this, but I’m writing it in North Carolina. North Carolina has not, in previous years, had a monsoon season…but this year we have! There is extensive flooding happening in our state, especially the western part (if you would like to help, click here).
These current circumstances got me thinking about something that God laid on my heart a few weeks ago. Steven Furtick is the head pastor of Elevation church which is based out of Charlotte, NC. He is currently in a series of sermons he is calling “Savage Jesus”. Isn’t that a great point? Our Jesus is SAVAGE!!! He tore the grave open! He kicked out demons! He is SAVAGE! One of the stories that shows Jesus’ savagery is when He cast a legion of demons out a man. The interesting thing to note, is that this story happens right after Jesus calms a storm. He says to His disciples, in Mark 4:35, “Let us go across to the other side” and they do. A huge storm blows up and everybody freaks out. Except Jesus…He’s just sleeping in the back of the boat. When they wake Him up, the Bible says He “rebuked the wind” and the sea.
Meanwhile, on a hill beyond the sea, there is a cemetery. In this cemetery, there lives a man. Read it again: in this cemetery, there lives a man. He lives here because he has become the Holiday Inn for a legion of demons. A legion, by the way, is 6,000 foot soldiers. This is a strong man! To survive a legion of demons…and to be responsible enough to choose a life of exile among the dead to protect the people of his community. What a man this must’ve been! He sits in his cave, resting among the tombs, and watches. He watches as a small fleet of fishing boats takes off from the other side of the sea, and he feels a dread come over him. He watches, as a terrible and mighty storm blows over the boats, and he feels a celebration within him. Suddenly, the wind dies down and the sea becomes calm, and he feels a complete fear. He watches as one of the boats…lands on the beach. His beach. The rest is history.
In his sermon on the topic, Furtick points to something interesting. He highlights the fact that the bible says Jesus actually “rebuked the wind”. But Jesus doesn’t rebuke natural elements. Are you ready? Jesus rebukes demons. This storm was stirred up by evil spirits to keep Jesus from reaching the other side and freeing this man.
Here is the point of all this: as humans we are prone to believe that a storm in our life means that we have been forsaken. But according to this story…the opposite is true.
When the storm begins to rage…
it means Grace is on the way.
Psalm 97:2 says that “clouds and thick darkness are all around” God and Exodus 13:21 says that “the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way…”. When the storm clouds begin to gather…Jesus is coming, y’all.
Whatever storm you see raging in your life today, whatever clouds you see beginning to gather over your life or the lives of those you love, know that this storm may be dark and heavy…but it means grace is on the way.
Furtick, Steven. “You Must Be Important”. 2018.