Calming of the Storm 2

We find ourselves morning on a lake.

Jesus had given his disciples instructions to travel across the lake to the other side. By doing so they were able to leave vast crowds of people behind.

Jesus was so exhausted he had fallen asleep on a cushion, and when a furious squall came up, on the water they had begun to panic!

The sea of Galilee actually lies in a basin, surrounded by hills, so that when the wind blows through them it has a tunnel effect, and many sudden storms are whipped up very suddenly and violently.

Luke's word for this particular storm translated means' a windstorm of a wind'. It must have been very severe to terrify the disciples, many of them fishermen who had weathered many storms in their lives.

In fact they were so terrified that they woke Jesus up with the accusation:-

"Teacher, don't you care if we drown?"

And Jesus calmed the storm, with just three words,

"Quiet, be still!"

Immediately all was calm, and then it was Jesus turn to question the disciples about their faith. The disciples were left dumbfounded; absolutely amazed that he had authority even over the wind and the waves.

They asked each other,

"Who is this? Even the winds and waves obey him!"

I can't help reading these words and not be reminded of the days of a famous Cowboy and Indian story.

Do you remember when Tonto and Kimo Sabbee, used to ride off into the distance at great speed, at the end of each episode leaving startled people behind with one vital question on their lips concerning the masked rider, the man of mystery, who had saved their lives from ruin?

One person would turn to the other and ask:-

"Who is that man?"

And the other would reply,"He's the Lone Ranger!"

But let's return to the height of the storm. The disciples must have been very confused as well as fearful with so many questions on their minds even then.

Had not Jesus himself given them clear directions, and even told them when to set out. And now this storm, had he made a big mistake in his timing?

Were all of their dreams and hopes going to end up at the bottom of the sea?

Perhaps he wasn't the Messiah and Saviour they thought he was, when they enrolled as his disciples.

Quite often in our lives when sudden squalls hit us, do we not react with the same kind of confusion and shock?

We say, This is not how I planned, this is not how everything should turn out for me.

God has made a big mistake in allowing this to happen to me. This can't be part of the plan.

Or have I made a mistake, have I done something wrong?

Quite often things don't turn out as we have planned, and we fall out with God, and we accuse him of not listening to us, of not caring enough, of being fast asleep to have allowed this to happen in the first place. And we join with the disciples in their accusing tone,

"Teacher, don't you care if we drown?"

What we actually want is an easy life, we want things our way. If there IS too much of the 'we' the 'I' or the 'I want' then perhaps it's time to repent.

This came forcibly to me a few weeks age when a door of opportunity did not open for me, and I spent a lot of time sulking, because I didn't get my own way.

Other people had got in the way of MY plans.

I was reading a biography of the life of Martin Luther King at the time, and one sentence was enough to turn me round in God's direction again. As I picked up my book to read my eyes fell on the paragraph where Dr King is telling a friend off for disobedience. He said,

"You need to pray. You're not with me. You need to get with me!"

Do we need to REPENT about some wrong attitude today?

Then we need to ask the question,"Why were the disciples so afraid?"

If we look at the reasons why we become so fearful we might find out.

· Is it that we fear death? Or the future?

· Is it that we fear the elements or the consequences or the pain?

· Is it because we feel so unworthy of God's love, that we convince ourselves we're not worth bothering about, that God cares for others and not us?

· Is it because our faith just is not big enough or that the God we believe in is not big and mighty enough to work wonders and save us?

If our fear looms large in our minds, then no wonder that the language we use so often centres on the storm rather than the Saviour.

We talk of being overwhelmed with anxiety; flooded with responsibility; swamped with work; out of control in a situation;

We're seized by illness suffer setbacks; we even wake up and say we look like the wreck of the Hesperus……we have stress and anxiety, we say goes right up to here, as though we are drowning in it.

Why is our language so negative?

Why don't we ever say we are overwhelmed with joy, or abounding in grace, or that we delight in the truth…..because people would say we're affected if we did.

It's much more 'in' these days to be disgruntled and fed up.

Being at one with God, trusting in him every step of the way doesn't seem to enter our language these days.

Perhaps it isn't in our natures to be calm and give thanks to God IN every situation,(note I did not say FOR every situation)

It's about time for us to put Jesus in the bow of the boat where we can see him, not behind us in the stern where he is hidden from view.

Jesus still speaks his words to us today, "Quiet, be still!"

You know the day after I had repented to God for my fall out with him, I picked up the same book. I was feeling quite guilty, and wanted to know God'still loved me…

And in the very next paragraph, came these words, spoken to Martin Luther King , by a lady supporter, as he marched into Selma, to fight for the right to vote.

She said to him,

"God will keep his arms around you, trust in Him!" I believe those words are for us this morning.

We all need to realise the ENORMITY of God's love for us, even when we panic, and get ourselves flustered, and confused.

Whatever the danger, whatever the pain,

Jesus is present.

Whatever the hardships, the troubles, the distress, and trauma in service of God, mentioned in our New Testament lesson this morning, in 2 Cor…

Jesus IS present.

Jesus IS present, and in the most significant, eternal sense of the word, the believer IS safe!

Now is the time of God's favour.

Now is the time of God's salvation.

Now is the time for us to realise this.

Song

Come walk with me on stormy waters, Why fear reach out and I'll be there.

I will be with you, wherever you go,

Go now throughout the world.

I will be with you, I all that you say,

Go now and spread my word.