Monday, August 5, 2019

A Furious Squall

Just this past week, we have seen two examples come through our email list of people we care about going through serious health challenges.  The reality of this life is that sudden crises can pop up seemingly out of nowhere.  This week, we give praise for the miraculous result for Ron with many prayers being answered. Candidly though, sometimes it can feel like God is not paying attention.  Our passage below helps us have a better understanding of these moments when our fear overwhelms our faith.

Mark 4:35-41 - 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!”

Things to think about:
·      To the extent there is such a thing as an “ordinary day with Jesus”, this scene starts out as an ordinary day with Jesus.  He was telling and explaining parables, and speaking to a large crowd about the kingdom of God.  When Jesus was finished for the day, He instructed the disciples to take Him to the other side of the lake.  Then things started getting interesting.
·      While He was sleeping (I love this detail of His humanity!) a furious squall arose, nearly capsizing the boat they were in.  I’m not sure how He could sleep while the boat was being overwhelmed by the water but apparently He could
o   Are you sleeping well or not so well these days? 
·      Now the disciples had already seen Jesus drive out a spirit, heal a paralyzed man, heal a man with a withered hand, and many others so they knew He had power like the world had never seen. So naturally they woke Him up and wanted to know if He cared about this current crisis.
o   “Don’t you care if we drown?”
o   Do you feel like you’re in danger of drowning? What waves are crashing over you?
§  Finances
§  Relationships
§  Health
§  Undisclosed bad habit
·      Of course, we know that Jesus does care.  He always “gets up” to calm the storm if we ask.
o   In fact, in Romans 8:34 it tells us that Jesus is at the right hand of the Father interceding for us constantly
·      But sometimes it does appear that He’s still asleep.  The finances are still a mess, the relationship is still fractured, a loved one’s health doesn’t get better.  So how do we reconcile these things?
o   One of the most theologically sound things you can say is, “I don’t know.”
o   Isaiah 55: 8-9 - “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.”
§  Like children, we don’t always understand what’s going on.
§  During the final week of Jesus’ life, it certainly looked like God wasn’t paying attention to the furious squall as His son was imprisoned, humiliated, beaten, imprisoned and of course crucified.
§  But we know that a greater purpose, i.e., the payment for our sins, was being worked out.
o   It is perhaps over-quoted but it doesn’t make Romans 8:28 any less true – “All things work together for the good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose.” 
§  It doesn’t say all things ARE good, but that they work together FOR good.
·      So when the inevitable furious squalls come, let’s not let faith be overcome by fear.
o   Psalm 121:3-4 says God never sleeps or slumbers.  He is always watching over you.
o   Psalm 100:5 reminds us, “For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.”
o   Our text illustrates He is able. “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey Him.”
o   He’s there, He cares, we need not despair!

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