When the Storm is On The Inside

“You rule the raging of the sea; when its waves rise, you still them.” (Psalm 89:9, ESV)

There are storms and then there are STORMS. 

The amount of inner turbulence bothered me over such a small incident. As a Christ follower, I chided myself, I shouldn’t be reacting as if swept under salty water and churning sand. I shouldn’t get my feelings hurst so easily. A few unguarded words, and inside winds and waves buffeted my heart.

I wondered why there seemed no peaceful spot of resting for my soul? 

A storm found the disciples in Mark 4:35-41 after a wonderful day by the sea listening to the Master teach. Excitement grew. Crowds gathered. The day must have been like a crescendo for the twelve. Anticipation mounted for a Messiah take over. 

After a long day of healing and teaching, Jesus said to His disciples,  “Let us cross over to the other side.” 

Evening approached. Jesus stepped into a boat and His disciples followed.

They had no idea that Jesus was taking them directly into a storm. 

“You rule the raging of the sea…”

For Jesus, the day had been a long taxing day. He’d poured his life into the needs of others. He must have been exhausted. He fell asleep on a pillow in the stern. 

The Sea of Galilee was known for strong winds that sometimes swept through the surrounding gorges into the valley and caused sudden violent storms. 

You may have noticed, Jesus doesn’t always float us down a lazy river where the ride is relaxing and sweet. Sometimes He heads us into the storm when the sun has dipped and it is night.  

 The boat tossed violently. Inside, the disciples stumbled at the mercy of forceful gales and darkness.

Waves of cold sea water swept into the boat. Frantic with fear, they did all they knew to keep from capsizing and the water from filling the boat. They knew the sea well, they were aware of the dangers, but they were smack in the middle of something out of their control.

I can imagine the discussion. 

“How can He sleep through this?” 

“Why doesn’t He wake up?”

“Should we wake Him?” 

 The disciples were drenched, scared and desperate. They must have felt certain they were going to drown anyway, so they did what we do when we know we can’t make it on our own. 

“Lord, save us! We are perishing!” they shouted into the gale. (Matt. 8:26 NKJV).  

There is irony in the Master of the winds and the waves unaware and unnerved by the elements He had Created. The storm not only took the disciple’s complete focus, it distracted them from the presence of their Lord right in front of them the whole time. 

We don’t see that irony in our storms either. The very storms which we feel separate us from Jesus, bring us to call on Him, to reach out a hand and touch Majesty.  

Jesus got up. Jesus stood in the raging storm. 

The boat pitched, the sea raged and the wind tore at them. His disciples still knew so little of such a vast God. 

“Peace be still.” Jesus chided the wind and the waves. 

Can you fathom the impact of sudden stillness at the sound of the voice of the Creator of the Universe? 

“Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” He asked.

Disciples then, disciples now, are like that. We know a sliver of Immense Sovereignty, just the tiniest slice, but forget how His magnitude extends far beyond what we see or comprehend. It is unexpected and full of grace. 

We forget. Jesus stands in storms.  

“Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?” they asked.

When my seas are stormy, when even insignificant internal niggling or hurts rage within, Who is He?

“You rule the raging of the sea; when its waves rise, you still them.” (Psalm 89:9, ESV)

The Psalmist wrote these words about God Almighty centuries before Jesus was born, and the words ring true today when storms billow inside. 

Sovereign of the endless seas, and commander of minute details, He has always been the Captain. Tempests of life neither surprise nor deter Him. 

When your boat rocks, when you feel capsized, remember even the wind and sea obey Him. Each fear, worry, hurt and insecurity belong to the Commander of winds and waves. 

It’s a question we must ask, Who is He? 

“Peace be still,” Jesus says into the tempest.

You may be interested in reading two other recent articles I authored. 

How Do We Lay Aside Every Weight and Pursue God?






Where is the, “run the race,” verse in the Bible?




17 Replies

  1. Jan Puffenberger Reply

    Thank you, Sylvia! So grateful for your Wednesday posts!

  2. Sharon Reply

    Thank you Sylvia, I needed this.

  3. Annie Yorty Reply

    I’ve always loved this story. How easily we forget God’s majesty and power.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Annie, I love this story too. Always can identify myself in it and always amazed at such a great God!

  4. Cleo Waters Reply

    So many storms are within…. this is such a good reminder of WHO can calm those storms. Thank you.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thank you Cleo. You are so right. So many storms are within, and it’s easy for me to forget Who dwells there stands in my storms.

  5. Candyce Carden Reply

    Storms do seem to take us farther from Jesus, but just like with the disciples, He’s right there in the boat with us. Thanks for these valuable reminders.

    • sylvia schroeder Reply

      Candyce, I’m so grateful He is in the boat! Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment!

  6. Barbara Latta Reply

    Such a great reminder for those stormy times we are attacked. Thanks for sharing, this, Sylvia.

    • sylvia schroeder Reply

      Thanks Barbara. Stormy times aren’t fun but looking back is often such a wonderful blessing. Sometimes I’m slow to see God’s hand during the storm. He is always in the storm with me.

  7. Katherine Pasour Reply

    I know that sometiomes Jesus must be shaking His head and saying to me, “Oh, you of little faith.” You expressed this so well, Sylvia. We know God is God the maker of heaven and earth and of storms, yet sometimes we forget that He cares and is right with us in the storm. Thank you for this inspiring message and the beautiful photos.

    • sylvia schroeder Reply

      Thank you Katherine. When the boat stills, I am amazed and grateful. Still learning to feel that way in the middle of high waves!

  8. Terri Miller Reply

    So funny to think of how they still didn’t really know him. But they were learning, just like us. Thanks for the encouragement.

  9. Nancy E. Head Reply

    Thanks for this encouragement, Sylvia. God bless!