Monday morning, June 20 -5:15 AM – “The Calm After the Storm”
As I sit on the porch overlooking the misty valley below and the mountains cast on the predawn light show that is about to take place, I can’t help but feel that familiar feeling that comes after a storm has past. The birds are singing their joyful melody. The air is calm and cool and moving just enough to keep the low hanging clouds slowly moving through the trees in the hills below. After a storm like we had again last night, there is a different kind of “calm” than what you experience before the storm. Before a storm, you are filled with anticipation and wonder of what is about to take place. Though the world may seem calm around you, your heart is restless not knowing what the immediate future will hold. Often before a storm there are distant signs of the power that is about to be unleashed in the flashes of lighting and rumbles of thunder in the distant.
After the storm passes, though it may have been filled with fury and awesome power, there is a different kind of “calm”. A “calm” filled with reflection and peace that the storm will no longer have an effect on those who are taking it in. In Matthew 14 after Jesus reached out His hand and rescued Peter from sinking. A part that is often missed are the moments that took place before Jesus and Peter got back into the boat. In verse 31 after Peter cried out “Lord, save me” as he began to sink because he took his eyes off of Jesus, it says: “Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith. Why did you doubt?” Then in verse 32 Jesus and Peter are already in the boat. What took place between these two verses is profound for you and I. The only possible way that Peter made it back safely in the boat is if the God Man who is able to walk on water carried Peter and lifted him back into the boat. Yes, Jesus carried Him.
What an awesome thing that happens when we are in Christ’s presence. Even when we take our eyes off of Him and our strength fails us, He is there to rescue us and carry us in his arms to safety. In verse 32 after Jesus carried Peter back to the boat it says, “The wind died down”. Peter and those in the boat immediately experienced the “Calm after the Storm”. The peace and relief that settled in the hearts of those in the boat, like the clouds settling into the valley below the base in this very moment which are no longer filled with fury and harm but with beauty and calm.
Today the team here in Guatemala will experience the “Calm after the storm”. Yes last night as the final Bibles were handed out to the dozens of People who had just experienced the “tipping point of eternity” the rain began to pour down. Our prayers for the rain to wait until the power of God transforming lives for eternity had taken place were once again realized and we could not help but witness again that it was our prayers and the power of God that kept the lighting and thunder at bay until the victory was won in this mountain village. Yes we won!!! We claimed victory last night through Christ. He never let us sink, we felt Him with us this whole week carrying us over the many miles of rough roads we traveled. We felt him giving us strength to do the impossible. We witnessed Him using our gifts and abilities, though not any more significant than a crayon or a soccer ball in our own strength, we watched Him move mountains in people’s hearts this week through the love of this team.
In this “calm after the storm” my heart is full. As I even now feel the tears of joy welling in my heart and in my eyes in this very moment I am reminded of what happened after Peter was back in the boat and the “Calmer of the storm” motioned to the wind and the waves to cease. In verse 33 it says, “Then those in the boat worshipped Him, saying, ‘truly you are the son of God’.”
2000 years ago the greatest storm that ever hit this earth took place on a hill called Calvary. The Bible describes the storm with vivid images of the sky turning black, with a violent earth quake so powerful that the veil was torn from top to bottom. This storm carried with it more power than a thousand Hurricanes. But when the “Calm after the storm” settled in on Easter morning, the battle was over and victory for all eternity was won. What a privilege we have to experience this “calm after the storm” that Jesus offers to each person who is willing to cry out to the “Rescue from Heaven” to “Save me”. What a privilege we have to no longer fear the power of the storm that still rages all around. What a privilege we have to be lavished by our maker with the title of “Child of God”. What a privilege we have today to worship our God saying, “Truly you are the Son of God!”
Today we know that the war is not over for seeking and saving the lost and dying in this world. But our battle here in Guatemala is nearing its’ end. The miles of challenging roads have been traveled, the crayons and soccer balls have been lovingly shared, the new homes have been built, the Bibles have been delivered, the prayers for lost souls have been cried out. Now in this “calm after the storm” we have but one thing left for us to do. Today we will worship our God like never before for what he has done this week here in Guatemala. But as we worship we will still be faced with one more battle. A battle that will affect our own futures. A battle that we will wage in our own hearts. The battle is over whether we will return home tomorrow and just go back to our lives as we were before we left or whether we will carry with us a new resolve to keep our eyes fixed on Christ and continue to seek and save the lost ones in our own “Guatemala” back home. Today as we worship God in the “Calm after the Storm” we will be challenged to do what we have been calling countless precious Guatemalans to do this past week, to give our lives fully to Him.
Pray for us once again today as Christ does His work in us. Pray that hearts will be broken on the team. Pray that as we reflect on the power of our God which carried us safely through the storm this week that we recommit to give him the deed to our hearts and give him all that we are. Pray that we will offer ourselves to be crayons and soccer balls back home in Michigan. Pray that we will travel the greatest journey that we can take this week to make our hearts “Christ’s Home” and surrender our all to Him.
Today after visiting Antigua we will return back to the base to pack and for one last worship time. Then we will head to airport around 8:00 PM to catch our midnight flight back home. Pray that this is a powerful day once again. Pray that the wind and waves will not distract us from the eternal storm that still rages. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for your willingness to take this journey with us and cover us with your prayers. We have been touched and changed this week. My prayer is that you have been able to be touched and changed as well. Let us all pray that as each of us live in the “calm after the storm” that came on Easter morning, that we will answer Jesus call to “Come” out of our comfort zones and share that amazing “Calm” with the world around us.
In His Grip,
Kevin Van Wyhe