The Storms of Life Are Raging

by Gene Shelburne, Contributor

In the week when I write these words, I have been buried in sad texts from longtime friends.

One lifelong chum lost his dear wife yesterday. I got a flurry of texts telling me that news. Another message informed me that a capable young colleague had been hospitalized with pain and complications caused by incurable cancer. Two others called to let me know that their 90-plus-year-old mothers were in hospice care. And, all around me now, I have friends who recently have buried their mates and now must make the agonizing adjustments it takes to live alone.

Life is not easy. Never has been. Never will be.

Those of us whose years are stacking up tend to imagine that troubles multiply because of old age, and we're at least partially right. Some aches and pains and concerns do belong to our generation. My wife's doc was right when he smiled and diagnosed her ailment as A-G-E. But I was only five when our family doctor told my parents that I had rheumatic fever. And at least half the victims in fatal car crashes in our area this month have been teenagers.

Life dishes out some tough assignments for all of us. Everywhere. All the time. And it is when we're almost overwhelmed and hurting worst that we most need Jesus.

Any of us who have read the Gospels will probably remember the time when, after a busy day of ministry, Jesus was sleeping soundly in his fishermen/apostles' boat when a fierce storm swept down on them. Terrified by the howling winds and threatening waves, those veteran sailors panicked. "Wake up! Lord," they wailed. "Don't you care if we sink and drown?"

Years ago a 26-year-old mother who was dealing with potentially fatal cancer wrote to me and poured out the anguish she was feeling in those uncertain days. Struggling with fears about the future of her family, she was hurting to the core of her soul. But she was finding strength in her unshaken faith.

Even in that turbulent time in her life, this possibly dying lady knew that Jesus did care. The faith-perspective that sustained her was embodied in two lines she quoted from an unidentified hymn:

"Sometimes He holds us close and lets the wind and waves go wild.

Sometimes He calms the storm, and other times He calms His child."

Gene Shelburne may be addressed at 3516 Carlton Dr., Amarillo, TX 79109 or at Get his books or magazines at His column appears weekly.

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