|[This is a post by a guest blogger, a friend to the ministry, Elizabeth Schenkel and is reprinted with permission.]
When my kids were little, we had a book from the Netherlands called Jesus Stills the Storm. It was a family favorite, a simple picture book telling the story of Jesus and the disciples and the storm (Mark 4:35-41). Like every family, we sailed through some stormy weather and that book inspired us to believe that, even though it might seem that Jesus was again asleep in the midst of the storm, we could call on Him and He would get us through.
The clip of the “JESUS” film, “Jesus Calms the Storm,” is also a favorite of mine. It is a wonderful conversation starter … only two minutes long and begging the question, “What storm in your life do you wish Jesus would calm?” This clip can open up wonderful opportunities to share Christ with … anyone! We all have storms.
My latest storm was, in fact, a hurricane. While Irma was pounding Caribbean islands, I, along with every Floridian, was running around making preparations. In the midst of buying bottled water and batteries, hurricane lamps and canned food, I struggled with fear of the unknown. Would we take a direct hit? Would a tornado spin off and damage our home? Would we lose power? There was no way to know.
But one thing I did know, and eventually I was able to settle my soul enough to take comfort from the fact that Jesus is in our boat. He never guarantees we won’t go through the worst of the storm. He doesn’t promise when or even if He will dispel the wind and waves that threaten to swamp us. But He is ALWAYS with us. And nothing can overtake us that He has not allowed into our lives.
As it turned out, we were spared the worst of Irma’s power. We rode out the storm in our little townhouse that proved very solid. We did not experience the flooding that some of our friends had to endure nor did we lose power. Best of all, we experienced God’s peace and grace in the midst of the storm. He was with us. He is in our boat, for this and through all of life’s storms. As He told His disciples, the answer for us is not simply the fact that He is in the boat, but that we choose to believe He is in control. It is our faith in Him that stills the storms in our hearts.
Elizabeth Schenkel has been actively involved in Christian ministry on four continents over the past 40 years. After a violent attack nearly ended her life in 2000, Elizabeth became a spokesperson for the persecuted church and for fulfilling Christ’s Great Commission through bold steps of faith. Elizabeth co-wrote the evangelistic, follow-up film series for the “Magdalena” film entitled “Rivka.” After serving overseas for sixteen years, Elizabeth and her husband Erick moved to Orlando, Florida in April of 2012, where Erick is serving as the Executive Director of Jesus Film Project®. The Schenkels have five grown children and three grandchildren.