A marriage crisis is one of the worst storms a person can face in life. You hope the storm blows over quickly and sometimes it does. But when a bad storm sets in for an extended amount of time, panic begins to rise. And the longer you’re in the storm the more panic threatens to take over.
But one of worst things a person can do during a storm is panic. So on top of everything else you’re dealing with during your marriage crisis you’re also challenged with trying to stay calm.
This story comes from the Gospel of Mark.
On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.” Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat so that it was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”
Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”
Mark 4:35-40 NKJV
Why did they panic?
Panic comes from fear of the unknown. And fear leads people to imagine the worst. That’s what the disciples felt during the storm. They felt like they were about to die. They were experienced fishermen and they knew the potential of the storm they faced. So their panic was caused by their fear for survival.
I’ve been through the storms of marriage crisis and I know what it’s like to panic and fear the worst. In fact, I believe the fear I had was what caused us to go through so many marriage crises. For twenty years I wasn’t really trying to have a good marriage. Because of fear, my goal in life was to not get a divorce.
I had a fear of divorce long before my own marriage was threatened by it. Growing up I seen the devastating effect divorce had on my mother, my grandmother, and several other relatives. And of course, I knew what it was like to be a child of divorce.
So, yeah I feel like I know what the disciples felt when that storm threatened their lives. Every time I felt threatened by divorce I hit the panic button. In doing so, I made a lot of mistakes acting out of desperation. And even though I was praying and asking the Lord to help, the panic I felt wouldn’t let me rest. I kept trying to fix the situation in my own strength instead of staying calm and trusting the Lord.
How about you? Are you struggling with fear? Is it difficult for you to stay calm?
Faith will keep you calm during the storm.
We should always remember that faith and fear work against each other. When we keep our focus on God and allow ourselves to trust Him no matter what the storm looks like, our faith will cancel out the fear. But if we focus on the storm and how bad it looks, fear will override our faith. So then the question is when we put our faith in God, what is it we are believing for?
When Jesus questioned the disciples about their faith He wasn’t saying they should have commanded the storm to stop. They were amazed after they seen Him command the storm to stop. He wouldn’t have expected them to do something like that without being told they could.
Jesus was telling them their faith would have kept them from fearing the storm. He had already set the example of staying calm during the storm by sleeping. His sleeping did not mean He was oblivious to the fact there was a storm. And it certainly did not mean He didn’t care if they perished. Because of His faith, He knew He didn’t need to be afraid of the storm and that was His message to them.
The day my fear left.
As I said already, I had always had a fear of divorce. So it was difficult for me to stay calm each time I went through a marriage crisis. But during that fourth and final crisis, I reached a breakthrough. My situation was looking hopeless and I didn’t know how to handle my fear.
Then one Sunday morning during worship I began to cry out to the Lord. I told Him I didn’t think my marriage was going to survive this time. And as tears were streaming down my face I asked Him how was I supposed to handle going through a divorce. Then almost instantly I thought of a certain passage of scripture and I heard the Lord speak in my spirit, “my grace is enough, even for divorce.”
I cannot express how relieved I felt in that moment. Suddenly, the weight I carried for most of my life was gone. The tears were still flowing, only now they were tears of joy. I still didn’t want a divorce, but at least I no longer had to be afraid of it. And from that moment on I knew I could remain calm during the storm.
Obviously, it would be better if your storm would just go away. But until it does I want to encourage you to remain calm. You don’t need to panic and you don’t need to be afraid.
Jesus said, “He would never leave you or forsake you.” Which means He is going through the storm with you. He is in the boat with you and He is not afraid. He wants you to remain calm and trust Him to get you through this.
I hope your marriage crisis leads to restoration as ours did. But more than that, no matter what happens to your marriage. I want you to know as you keep your faith in the Lord you can be confident about your future.
This storm is not the end of your story!!!
If you liked this post you may also want to check out:
- Faith Doesn’t Measure the Size of the Mountain
- Do You Believe Your Marriage Can Be Healed
- Don’t Run From the Pain
Image courtesy of Fred Pinheiro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net