In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus wakes up to calm the storm with a stern word (Mark 4:35-41). We also will hear God speak to Job from out of the whirlwind (Job 38:1-11). As we consider our own storm-tossed realities we can wonder about God’s activity. Sometimes God seems to speak against the storms, with a word of peace. On other occasions, God seems to confront us from within the whirlwind, with words of truth difficult to bear.
C.S. Lewis likened pain to God’s megaphone in this way: “We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world….No doubt pain as God’s megaphone is a terrible instrument; it may lead to final and unrepented rebellion. But it gives the only opportunity the bad man can have for amendment. it removes the veil; it plants the flag of truth within the fortress of the rebel soul” (“The Problem of Pain”).
Whatever conditions or characters might lie behind the storms we face, we must trust in God who has revealed himself as for us, not against us. We have been baptized in the name of the Father who will never again flood his creation, and of the Son whose word makes peace where there seems only chaos, and of the Holy Spirit who inspires us both to fight the waves and to fear the Lord whom “even the winds and waves obey” (Mark 4:41).