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One of my favorite stories…

November 30, 2007

about Jesus is found in Matthew 8:23-27. This is the story of Jesus and His disciples in a boat on the Sea of Galilee when a storm furiously sweeps up over the lake. Jesus, exhausted, is asleep in the boat while His disciples are hanging on for dear life and are thoroughly frightened to the point of believing themselves about to drown.

Terrified, they wake Jesus up and beg His help, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” Jesus replies, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” and then promptly rebukes the winds and waves and immediately calm is restored. The disciples are amazed at the authority of this man that even the winds and waves obey Him.

I like this story so much because every time it’s taught the application is always applied to the storms a believer encounters in life and how one responds, even one with little faith; followed closely by how Jesus intervenes in said storms.

In discussion with a friend, she pointed out something I’d never thought about regarding the disciples. She mentioned that with the exception of only a few, these men were seasoned fishermen both used to boats, used to water (obviously) and even used to storms while in boats on the water. Even if the few who were not fishermen were out of their wits scared, wouldn’t the fisher types have had words of comfort for them? “Come on, guys, this squall isn’t anything.” But the text clumps the disciples as a group that is scared and goes to wake Jesus.

Added to that point is the idea that their experiences on and around the water would have made them aware of ominous skies so if a storm looked imminent, perhaps they wouldn’t have so readily entered the boat.

A personal challenge I had to consider this time around, issuing from personal circumstances, is how directly Jesus demonstrates His authority to test our faith and confront our response. The Lord does not do either for mere effect and drama, but certainly for the sake of stirring us up to a greater understanding of both His sovereignty and His provision.

Undergoing life’s storms is a given event whether you are a professing Christian or not. However, being confronted for your response has a unique consequence for the Christian. If an unbeliever expresses resentment, despondency, or any other emotion, that response is contained within their worldview of fate, luck, or karma. But a believer’s response of fear, resentment, despondency is contained and so shaped by their understanding of God’s character.

When the “I don’t know why this happened,” meets the overruling sovereignty of God, then choosing peace in the boat is a joyful exercise. When the “I’m drowning in my circumstances,” is confronted by the majesty of the Living God, then living the sufficiency of His grace in your weakness is light to a dark world. When the “I’m afraid,” is awed by the power of the One whom the winds and waves obey, then your heart is stirred to desire more of His amazing grace.

Thanks be to God!

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. November 30, 2007 10:56 pm

    The Lord does not do either for mere effect and drama, but certainly for the sake of stirring us up to a greater understanding of both His sovereignty and His provision.

    Amen!

  2. December 1, 2007 8:22 am

    As I read your excellent post, I’m drawn to deeper trust in God’s sovereignty, to “fear not.”

    Taking a look at all the “fear nots” in the Bible would be a great study, wouldn’t it?

  3. December 1, 2007 8:44 am

    When I was younger I always struggled with the question of why bad things happen to “good” people. Sometime later in my life, I came to a personal understanding that the reason the all powerful God doesn’t just protect all Christians from pain is so the world can see the difference. The difference in how a faithful Christian responds to tragedy as opposed to how a non-Christian responds. It’s one of the strongest witnesses for his Glory.

  4. December 1, 2007 9:04 am

    Make that ONE of the reasons. I still struggle with the abuse and suffering of children.

  5. December 1, 2007 4:17 pm

    This is one of my favorite stories, also. I love the disciples’ response once the storm is calmed – awe. You’ve said all this so well, and I LOVE your last paragraph. May we remember the joy of trusting ourselves to the One who calms the storm when those storms come. Thank you for sharing these thoughts.

  6. Veronica Mitchell permalink
    December 4, 2007 12:36 am

    One of the wisest things my dad ever said to me was that when we face adversity, sometimes God’s glory is better shown by our grace in the midst of it than our victory over it. You reminded me of that.

    Welcome to wordpress.

  7. December 4, 2007 2:20 pm

    Welcome to WordPress. I like your gussied-up design!

  8. Ellen permalink
    December 4, 2007 3:57 pm

    Welcome to WordPress Elle! I love how the page is filled with blue…

  9. December 4, 2007 5:34 pm

    Love the new locale!

  10. December 4, 2007 9:01 pm

    What an interesting perspective on that story. I had never thought about the fact that this was surely not the first storm those who were fishermen had been through. And yet, still there was fear. Is it wrong to somehow find solace in that? Fear continues to be my first response to a storm, even as I am ever seeking to be confident in Christ’s ability to see me through. Hmmmmm – good thoughts.

    Love the WP look!

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