O God who calms the sea...

That's the prayer starter for today and no matter where you find yourself today whether your circumstances are pleasant or you are drowning there is a God who calms the sea.

In late 1735, a ship made its way to the New World from England. On board was a young Anglican minister, John Wesley, who had been invited to serve as a pastor to British colonists in Savannah, Georgia. When the weather went sour, the ship found itself in serious trouble. Wesley, also chaplain of the vessel, feared for his life.

But he noticed that the group of German Moravians, who were on their way to preach to American Indians, were not afraid at all. In fact, throughout the storm, they sang calmly. When the trip ended, he asked the Moravian leader about his serenity, and the Moravian responded with a question: Did he, Wesley, have faith in Christ? Wesley said he did, but later reflected, “I fear they were vain words.”

In fact, Wesley was confused by the experience, but his perplexity was to lead to a period of soul searching and finally to one of the most famous and consequential conversions in church history.

After speaking with another Moravian, Peter Boehler, Wesley concluded that he lacked saving faith. Though he continued to try to be good, he remained frustrated. “I was indeed fighting continually, but not conquering.… I fell and rose, and fell again.”

On May 24, 1783, he had an experience that changed everything. He described the event in his journal:

“In the evening, I went very unwillingly to a society in Aldersgate Street, where one was reading Luther’s preface to the Epistle to the Romans. About a quarter before nine, while he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone for salvation, and an assurance was given me that he had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death.”

Galli, M., & Olsen, T. (2000). Introduction. In 131 Christians everyone should know. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

The ultimate storm that needs to be calmed is the storm of the soul. St. Augustine articulated this truth centuries ago: “Thou hast made us for Thyself, O God, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee.” The good news of the gospel is that Jesus is greater than the storm of the soul and his finished work brings peace to the storm of sin and death. Christ alone saves us from the law of sin and death. Today, look to the God who calms the sea rather than looking at the storm because your greatest storm is still under his feet.