Mark 4:35-41 NIV
Jesus Calms the Storm
“That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
How many times have we heard this account of Jesus calming the storm? Did it actually happen? Yes, it did. Do you think Jesus knew there was a storm coming when He said “Let us go over to the other side”? I’m pretty sure He did. You see, the problem isn’t that there will be storms in our lives, the problem is that we don’t comprehend who it is that cares for us.
I don’t know how many of you have spent any significant amount of time out at sea but there are times when the sea is actually like a sheet of glass, for as far as you can see. It’s really something, no waves, no ripples, just a sheer smooth surface. It doesn’t happen very often, but it happens, just like storms and true peace we encounter in real life.
And, if you’re like me, there are times when I have a hard time getting my head around the fact that my God, my Creator, created everything in this universe, everything on this planet and that when I pray to Him, He actually hears me. You see, when God created the universe, He created time. He is not limited by time as we are. He can and does hear all of our prayers, without one interfering with the other. That’s a reality. I think of all the people who are praying to Him when I am and how big this planet is and my mind has a hard time comprehending the reality of what is happening, but it does happen, every time we say a prayer. He listens to us, He is aware of the cries of our hearts.
In fact He knows everything about us. He knows the number of hairs on our heads. He knew about us before we were born and when we were in our Mother’s womb. He knows when we lie down and when we rise. He knows our name. He knows our thoughts. He knows everything that we have every said and have ever done. He knows what we are doing and where we are going. And He knows when these bodies that we live in will die. That’s personal, real personal, and that’s because we have a personal God. A God who knows His thoughts of love towards us, our Creator who wants us to have live in Him and offers that eternal life, through His Son, Jesus, the Christ, the Messiah.
I had a dream last night where I was back in the military, starting a new job at a new posting, It’s a dream that revisits me every once in a while. I’m not sure why it revisits but the feelings that come from being in this dream are familiar. A new job, new responsibilities, new people to get to know, new bosses to please, new men and women to lead, new challenges, a new home to set up, new schools for the children, new problems to come to grips with, a new Church to attend and current loves and responsibilities to maintain, so much to do and so little time to do it all in.
The scary part is that I’m 73 years old now and most of these challenges have been removed from me, yet some remain and some new challenges are introducing themselves that I never really took the time to contemplate that much about. Life is really short, it goes by so much faster than you think and when the last hills begin to come into view, it has a tendency to bring a whole new perspective into view. Our limitations take on a new reality, our achievements and failures become much more real and most of all, the enduring worth of love and acceptance and forgiveness take on a whole new meaning. You’d almost think it’s designed to work that way.
There is no greater love than the love that has been extended to us from God. He created this universe so that we, His creation, could come to know Him and trust in Him. He gave us lessons of reality in the Bible with ordinary people so that we could come to understand that He is real and He is Holy and that we have a problem that separates us from coming to know Him and loving Him like He loves us. And that problem is within us, the way we are, self absorbed, self motivated, self gratifying creatures that think everything we see revolves around us. He could have created creatures that loved Him, He could have taken away the free will option, but by doing so, that would have removed what real love is, where we raise our concern and affection for others, above our own. That’s why He tells us that there is no greater love than when someone is willing to lay down their live for another. And, in reality, through Jesus, that is exactly what He did. Jesus, God incarnate, in the flesh, laid down His life for us, so that through faith and trust in what He accomplished for us, that we in ourselves could not do, we could experience eternal life and love, with Him, made possible through His Son.
So yes, our lives can get pretty stormy, complicated and blow us off course, but there is a bigger lesson in life than the storm. We need to be honest about our own limitations, seek God and come to understand who He really is, and that includes what He can condone and cannot condone, which will eventually bring us to our own self awareness for the need of a Redeemer, someone who is different from us, not tainted by selfish motivations, who can do for us what we in ourselves cannot do. The wonder of God’s love is that God provides the Redeemer, in His Son. Please don’t reject His Son.
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!