June 16, 2014

STORM SLEEPING: How To Have Peace When All Hell Is Breaking Loose

Last Sunday morning while cuddling with my little Moses a bit longer to listen to the rare Texas rain, our snuggle time was interrupted by a loud CRASH.


The windows clanged loudly as the entire house shook and rattled—even the air felt alive with electricity.  It was as if a lightening bolt had come down right on top of our house, pouring waves of thunder that rippled through the sky.  As someone whose not usually afraid of storms, it was surprising when all the hairs on the back of my neck stood on end.

Moses raised his little head from my chest with wide eyes and exclaimed, “Mommy, that was a biiiiiiiig Lightening McQueen!”   (Yep, that's a Cars movie reference for those of you who don't have toddlers).


Our little family has recently endured the worst storm we've ever experienced inside the death of our daughter Luca Gold on March 5.  The winds and rain that came against us sometimes felt like a hurricane with one intention—to wipe us all out and destroy everything.  But as I sat watching the rain fall down watering the earth to life, the world around me looked vibrant with green.

In fact, the only way for life to grow on the earth is for the storms to bring the rain.  

Which means not all storms are bad.


Storms bring rain.

Rain brings life.

And Life.  Life is everything.


I've had a stormy week.  One dear friend lost her father suddenly on Sunday morning during church, and the other close friend lost one of her twins growing inside her womb at the exact same time.  Both in Hawaii, in fact.  And inside these two tropical storms, it appears that there's much more destruction than creation.


When storms come, they do one of two things:

1) Water the earth to life

2) Bring floods, winds, and waves that destroy everything.


So what about the second kind of storms—these destructive winds that come to kill us?

Jesus talks about these kinds of storms in Mark 4:35-41:

On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. And a great storm of wind arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care if we perish?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?” And they were filled with awe, and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even wind and sea obey him?” (RSV)


The disciples were freaked.  The fact that they thought they were going to perish (aka DIE) meant this storm was worse than normal—and these were experienced fishermen who knew how to navigate storms!  I've been to the Sea of Galilee before, and let me tell you, it's really a Texas lake that you can see all the way across.  The fact that a perilous storm came up while they were crossing meant it came in fast and strong—and probably without much warning, otherwise they wouldn't have even set foot in the boat.

Jesus gets up from his sleep and rebukes the wind and waves declaring “Peace!  Be still!”  For Jesus to rebuke something meant there was had to be something behind the storm that involved the enemy.  He wouldn't have rebuked a storm from God intended to water the earth to life.  But he rebuked this storm and BAM.  It ceased.

This tells us a few things:

1)  The enemy can bring storms against us to take us out.

2)  This proves that not all storms are from God if Jesus rebuked the storm to stop.

3)  If you're in Christ, you can rebuke storms from the enemy if you know your authority.


Jesus didn't rebuke the storm from a place of being freaked out.  His scared to death disciples had to wake him up from being fast asleep!  So how was this Jesus able to sleep in the midst of an attack from the enemy?

I believe that Jesus was so confident in God's ability to get him to the other side, that no matter what came against him, he approached the storms of life from a place of peace, rest, and trust.  His example of faith in His Father—in the promises of God—those promises were like weighted concrete anchoring his heart to peace and faith.  And that peace on the inside of Him was so great, He just fell asleep when all hell was breaking loose.

His inner atmosphere defined his outer world, so much so, that he could stand up and speak to a physical storm, and that storm would stop!

His inner atmosphere defined his outer world.  Which means, dear friend, your inner atmosphere can define your outer world.


It's hard to rebuke the storms that the enemy brings against us when we aren't anchored to peace.  We swing our swords wildly, hoping to make contact with the enemy behind the storm—all the while, freaking out that the storm is actually happening, just like the disciples did that day in the boat.  They didn't have the authority to stop the enemy behind the storm because they were still overwhelmed by the storm.  


It takes maturity to become a storm sleeper.  It takes intimacy with Father, it takes hearing His voice, being close to Him and developing a history of trust.  It takes being filled with peace, and contending to remain in that peace—no matter what the world brings.  As my dear friend and spiritual father Graham Cooke says, “When the enemy can't penetrate your peace, he doesn't know what to do with you.”


On Sunday as a massive lightening bolt shook the house down to the foundation, my daddy reminded me how that very day was Pentecost Sunday.  And on a day thousands of years ago, God poured out his spirit like wind and tongues of fire on the followers of Jesus.  And they received POWER. Power to preach the gospel, to release miracles, to advance the kingdom of heaven and kick out the hell that comes against us.

And as the thunder of heaven shook our house and our hearts Sunday morning, I began to praise God for HIS storms that bring life.  I began to praise God for HIS outpouring of the Holy Spirit that has equipped me with the resurrection power of Jesus Christ—giving me authority to rebuke the wind and waves that the enemy brings against us.


Dear friend, know your storm.  Know whether the storm is from God to bring life, or from the enemy to bring death.  And we must learn how to abide in peace within both.  If the storm is from the enemy, Jesus example tells us we can gain the spiritual muscles inside our hearts to release the peace that we carry.  And just like Jesus did that day….

The storm must cease.

I'm tired of the storms of the enemy taking out my friends, family, total strangers—and my baby girl.  I'm tired of his death storms winning.  And for the rest of my life, I'm going to learn to be a storm sleeper, being awakened to release the peace that passes all understanding inside my heart—rebuking the wind and waves that come against me and those that I love.

Father, let my heart be a weapon that releases your perfect will— Peace.  Be still.











6 Responses to “STORM SLEEPING: How To Have Peace When All Hell Is Breaking Loose”

  1. So so good!!! With out the rain , with out the
    pruning that happens during a bad storm, with out any of it things can’t grow to potential that they were created… If it takes a storm to
    Get me in that central
    Place of His perfect … Bring the storm.

  2. Laura Hall

    Christa, this PREACHES!!! “His inner atmosphere defined his outer world”…this is true in the opposite sense as well. So many times I question where is my peace and my joy, and this statement just gave me the answer by smackig me full on in the face. It’s because my inner peace and inner joy is stirred up and not resting in Him, therefore my inner atmosphere has defined what my outer world feels like. How I desire to shift my focus and let this statement be true for me in the same way that it was true for Jesus when He slept through the storm only to be awakened and went on to command the wind and waves to “be still”. Thank you for sharing your heart and insight…you and your precious family have blessed me more than you know.

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