rev-dr-walter-t-richardson_web.jpg“He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed.” 
– Psalm 107:29

“Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, "What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!" 
-Matthew 8:26, 27

June is here. When I was younger, June marked the beginning of vacation season, the ending of school, and the month most engaged couples wanted to marry.

But in recent history in South Florida, June marks the beginning of Hurricane Season. And it has already been predicted by expert weather forecasters that 2010 will be a year of above-average activity with hurricanes. Words and phrases like, “weakened El Nino,” and “warm-water temperatures” feed into the frenzy and heighten the anxiety, particularly of those who live in South Florida.

We are naturally afraid of storms, first because we know from first-hand experiences the damage storms like hurricanes can cause. Hurricanes also present us with the almost unbearable pain of uncontrolled inconvenience.

So, we brace ourselves each year for the noise that accompanies storm activity — TV news flashes, radio announcements, advertisements, clinging shutters, generator checks, the sound of saws cutting trees and shrubbery — here noise, there noise, almost everywhere there is noise, noise. And the noise does not stop for nearly six months. Why does everything have to be so loud?

Dr. Katurah Jenkins-Hall, professor of psychology at the University of South Florida, found and recorded in a book titled Think on These Things, a true story of Daniel Sullivan; who made a name for himself in 19th Century England by taming horses that had become vicious and uncontrollable.

Sullivan was observed engaging in what seemed to be quiet face to face conversations with the troubled horses. He seemed to be whispering words to them that only they understood, which magically calmed the troubled horses.  His observers inquired among themselves, “Who is this man?”  Sullivan became known as the “horse whisperer.”

Well, in the scriptures, Jesus was asleep on the boat with his disciples when a storm threatened to take the boat under.  In a panic, the disciples called out to Jesus, saying, “Don’t you care if we drown?”

Jesus spoke to the storm, and the winds and waves obeyed Him. When the storms of life are raging year-round, viciously and uncontrollably in your life, the spirit of the omnipotent that abides in you, will also respond to your cry.  Just call on Jesus!  He will speak to your storms. And they will obey.

It doesn’t matter what your storm’s name is — Hurricane Anxiety, Hurricane Brown’s Syndrome, Hurricane Cancer, Hurricane Disappointment, Hurricane Error, Hurricane Faithlessness, Hurricane Gloom or Hurricane Hurt — Jesus can calm your sea, and quiet your storm.

What manner of man is this, that even the winds and waves obey him? He is Jesus, our storm whisperer!

The Rev. Dr. Walter T. Richardson is the senior pastor emeritus of the Sweet Home Missionary Baptist Church, 17201 Southwest 103rd Avenue in Perrine.  He is also an adjunct professor of religion at St. Thomas University in Miami Gardens.

WRichardson@Stu.edu