Wednesday, November 3, 2010

raging seas

Hi Readers.
Today's post comes from one of my top 3 favorites stories about Jesus. In Mark 4:35-41 we read about Jesus calming a raging storm while out at sea. Let's read:
As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed). But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water. Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?” When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” The disciples were absolutely terrified. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “Even the wind and waves obey him!”
I absolutely adore this story. I can't even begin to imagine how terrifying this experience was. I often times wonder: WWRHD- What would Raquel have done? I would have thrown some people over... for sure, let's take some weight off this sinking boat. OR better yet, start sprinting over water (ha ha)... after all, they were only going to the other side of the lake. But thank the Lord that I was not living in Biblical times nor was I a Biblical character.

The simplicity of this story is immeasurably profound.
Let's take a look at the storm.
Obviously no one forecasting a storm would carry on in a boat. This storm was a sudden happening, unforeseen and hellish. At times trials and tribulations come our way much like this storm, out of no where.

Let's take a look at the boat(s).
I am reminded through this passage that no one is exempt from storms. Remember, there were other boats with them. In a strange way, this is comforting. I am not alone in my suffering or in my moments of desperation. Every one has trials of their own, everyone is going through some sort of storm. We are not alone!

Let's take a look at the Disciples.
There really is nothing luxurious about these men. They were mere humans in need of Jesus. This is of great encouragement to me. These men had the Prince of Peace on their boat and what did they do? They ran to him whining! My goodness, how many times don't we do that. I know I do. Rather than seeking the Lord we look to Him with the 'why me' attitude. Or the 'don't you care about me' cry. I don't want to be that Christian. That's ugly. I want to run to Jesus for who He is: Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Let's not forget what Jesus tells them upon calming the storm, "How is it that you have no faith?" These men had seen miracles and wonders, yet they feared and were even amazed that Jesus calmed the storm. Oh, that we would never fear but be clothed with strength and dignity, laughing without fear of the future (Proverbs 31:25) because we know who holds our future. And may we always have that childlike wonder when it comes to the things of God.
Let's take a look at Jesus. Honestly, my favorite part of this story is that Jesus is sleeping during the storm. This always cracks me up. Though I do find it funny, I sometimes feel like "Hey Jesus, are you sleeping?" Time and Time again this portion of the Bible reveals to me that Jesus is God. He arose and spoke. That's all it took. There is power in His Words. During my "storm" am I seeking His word? Am I going to Him to hear Him speak or only to demand and ask of things like a bratty 5 year old?

Finally, let's take a look at the wind and waves.
The New King James Version says that the wind ceased and there was a great calm. Did you get that, God spoke and BAM, a great calm. When God speaks into our lives, no matter how great the "storm" there can be a great calm. For it is only in His Words, that you and I can find comfort, peace, direction, revelation, hope, encouragement, strength and so much more. It also amazes me, how quickly the wind and waves obeyed. No procrastination. No grumbling. No conditions. The wind just stopped. The waves calmed. When God speaks, do I obey immediately? Do you?

Overall, this short little story challenges me to trust God with my life and to obey Him. Imagine living such a life of unshakable faith and immediate obedience in the midst of difficult, trying times... Those around us without a doubt will be asking, "who is this man?" Praying that in all things, our life would point others to Jesus.

They reeled and staggered like drunkards
and were at their wits’ end.
“Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble,
and he saved them from their distress.
He calmed the storm to a whisper
and stilled the waves.
What a blessing was that stillness
as he brought them safely into harbor!
Let them praise the Lord for his great love
and for the wonderful things he has done for them.
Psalm 107:27-31

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