Yesterday morning I was blessed to share from Mark 4:35-41. This is a very familiar passage of scripture which contains the account of a powerful storm on the Sea of Galilee which really tested the faith of the disciples. Water poured into their boat. The wind howled that they were doomed. The rain stung their faces like a thousand darts of accusation against the faithfulness of their God. To make matters worse, Jesus was found sleeping through their storm and they had to awaken Him. He refused to share in their panic as He arose and told the storm to shut its mouth. Scripture says that an immediate calm took over as the sea went flat, the wind was muzzled and the rain stopped in an instant. The disciples, mouths hanging open, were left to wrestle with the wonder of just who exactly this man was. He challenged their lack of faith and left us an enduring example in our own storms of life. I leave you today with three options for your listening ear when the storms in your life are raging. Who will you give your attention to during times of Storm Talk?
If you listen to the storm you will hear it say: You cannot survive me. I’m the end of you. I’m bigger than your God. I’m unstoppable and will sink you soon. You can’t breathe when I swamp you. You can’t find the strength to swim forever. I will destroy your boat and nobody will rescue. I am here to swallow you and your Savior is doing nothing but sleeping while you perish. He doesn’t care about you. This is it. Don’t think that you will survive this storm because you have never met one like me before.
If you listen to yourself you will hear: Lord Jesus, don’t you care? Why aren’t you stopping the winds of adversity? I’m taking on water and will never bail myself out! You should be doing something, Jesus! Can’t you see I’m doing everything I can do and I’m running out of options? Why aren’t You moving? Everything is falling apart – I’m taking on water, the waves keep coming…I’m not going to make it if you don’t get up and do something NOW. How long are you going to sleep through my storm? Don’t you care?
If you listen to the Savior you will hear: I’m not afraid of this storm, child. I’m not obliged to share your panic although it seems that this would make you feel better about this storm. You cannot be sunk by this unexpected trouble. Have you forgotten that I am actually in this storm with you? What has happened to the faith you had when the sun was shining and we embarked on this journey together? I’m pleased that you have called My name but your present tone is one of accusation and doubt. What do you think I plan to do with you in this storm? Have you mistakenly believed that I have no plan? Child, I can never let you sink because I have pledged my great love to you. Have you not realized that we are in this storm together so that you can learn how to trust Me in ways you never have before? Watch what I will do to this storm to which you have been listening too much. You’ve believed it’s howling lies and soaking dread and have forgotten what I have said to you. This storm has spoken to you without ceasing so I will now shut its mouth: Be muzzled, O storm! Come to your end immediately! See there, child? I can cease the storm in an instant and will do so before it can ever bring you to your end.
To whom will we listen in our own storm? The choice is rather clear, is it not? Clear, yes, easy no. It takes a lifetime to perfect but the Lord is patient… and He never abandons ship.
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