...running the course God sets before us, no matter the cost, no matter the task, to the end, for His glory

Monday, October 29, 2012

Riding Out the Storm~ Part Two

There is an African proverb that states, "A calm sea does not make a skillful sailor."

Could that be one facet to why Jesus allows storms in our lives?  Or why sometimes He directs us directly into the heart of them?

Last time I looked at Jesus and His act of sending us STRAIGHT into storms. He didn't do that to His disciples just once. He did it twice.

The first time He was sleeping in the bottom of the boat.
Bad news- He was asleep.
Good news- He was with them!

But the next time, in Matthew 14, Jesus stays on shore and sends His disciples on ahead.
Across the sea.
Straight into the storm.
Bad news- There is a storm.
More bad news- Jesus is NOT in the bottom of the boat- asleep or otherwise.

But hold the presses. There is a back story to this story.

Immediately before this jaunty cruise occurred was the miracle of the feeding of the 5000. Jesus had just taken 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish and had FED 5000 PEOPLE!

And the disciples were right in the middle of that one. They were the ones who had worried about the insurmountable problem of there not being food for the people in the first place. (Mark 6:35-36) Their solution was to send the people away.

Jesus' solution was to give them something to eat.

Disciples + 5 loaves + 2 fish = IMPOSSIBLE
Jesus + 5 loaves + 2 fish = LEFTOVERS!

But once the collection of the leftovers had been taken care of, Matthew 14:22 says, "Jesus immediately made the disciples get into the boat."

And that is how the disciples got in this storm.

Once again the disciples are in a boat and the winds howl, the waves rise, and the boat begins to get swamped.

It was the second "impossible" situation in the same day! Would the disciples remember their lesson? (Let me give you a hint- NO! They would not!)

Jesus, imposing a third impossible element into the day, and once again showing that He is master of creation and it's laws, not the other way around, WALKS ON WATER! Amazing.

Peter decides (possibly emboldened by the previous events of the day?) to walk out to Jesus. He asks Jesus to call him out of the boat. Pete does okay for a moment...that is until he takes a look at the waves up close and personal, gets scared, and starts to sink.

Peter grew afraid. Jesus reprimanded his lack of faith.
Maybe fear is just lack of faith?

But Jesus saves him and gets him back to the boat. Only then does the storm cease.

Oh, there are SO many lessons here. But I will try and contain myself to the ones that have to do with "riding out the storms" in our lives:
  • Sometimes, like Peter, I might get emboldened to ask Jesus to command me to do something that is “impossible.” But when I get right in the middle of the thing it is MUCH harder than I expected. At that moment will I have fear or faith?
  • I must NEVER take my eyes off Jesus. My circumstances will always be frightening and could also be IMPOSSIBLE.  It is only by looking Straight. Into. The. Eyes. Of. Jesus.... That is how the impossible becomes possible.
  • Like Peter, I need to take a leap of faith in the midst of the storms. Unlike Peter, I need to keep my eyes and faith on Jesus. 
  • It is in the heart of my storms that my most important lessons are learned and my most intimate encounters with my Savior will occur!

What looks impossible to you right now?
What wind is blowing unrelentingly against you?
What wave threatens to over take you?

Look straight into Jesus' eyes. Nothing is impossible with Him!

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