Friday, September 20, 2019

What To Do When The Storm Comes

Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, ‘Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!’.” —Matthew 8:24-25

Martie and I are in Houston – primarily because this is where the Lord sent us – it was not on our bucket lists to live here.  We came here in the wake of Hurricane Harvey and just recently watched the people respond to Tropical Storm Imelda. Yesterday I listened to discussions about the effects of the flooding that has resulted.  Houses that were repaired after Harvey were ravaged again by Imelda.  A number of questions might be raised about the wisdom of building a house on “sandy land”, but that is not the point of this devotion – perhaps another day.

The point is that storms – of one form or another – natural disaster – illness – relational troubles – financial problems will come into our lives.  Storms that we have no control over. Storms that perhaps strike fear in our hearts and strip us of all hope that we will be able to endure. Like watching the weather reports and seeing the green – yellow – and red swirling mass inching closer and closer to the place where we live, we have no control over it’s direction or it’s strength.  

Many of the disciples were fishermen.  They understood the sea and how storm could rise up suddenly and bring havoc to those who were riding her waves. So, they found themselves in a ferocious storm – like we all do from time to time – and feared for their very lives – losing hope that they could endure what was to come – like we all do from time to time. They had lost all positional awareness – Jesus was with them – like we all do from time to time.  So they woke Jesus up to tell Him that they were in trouble. The storm is raging – they are in fear of losing their lives – and Jesus is sleeping – in the same boat – in the same storm.  They had focused on the storm and not the one who created the universe.

In the beginning was the Word [Jesus], and the Word was with God [the Father], and the Word was God [reference to the Trinity]. He was with God in the beginning. Through him [Jesus] all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.” – John 1:1-4

That same Jesus was with them – but they were overwhelmed by the natural - physical circumstance – having lost all hope that they could save themselves and were certain they would perish – like we all do from time to time.  But then they turned to Jesus – like we all should all of the time. Jesus calmed the storm. Am I saying that if we had only looked to Jesus that He would have made Imelda go away? No. I am saying that if we turn to Jesus we will not fear no matter what the outcome.  Trusting in the providence of God.  Doing all we can and trusting Him to do the rest. But like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego – even if we are not spared from the furnace – even in the furnace, God will be with us.

Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counselors, ‘Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?’ They answered and said to the king, ‘True, O king.’ ‘Look!’ he answered, ‘I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.’” – Daniel 3:24-25

“Turn your eyes upon Jesus.  Look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.” (Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus, Helen Howarth Lemmel)

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