Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Observations from the Storm

"The boat was filling with water, and they were in real danger" (Luke 8:23b).  

My boat has been filling up with water for several months--seven to be exact. 

We were just about ready to leave for church on a  typical Sunday morning last August. Tina was finishing up in the bathroom, brushing hair one last time and considering which ear rings looked the best. She had already complained about not feeling well and I was doing my best to encourage her out the door, believing that she would feel better as the morning progressed.  As the story would develop, she didn't start feeling better, and we didn't make it to church. Instead, Tina spent the next ten days in excruciating pain, suffering a massive heart attack, that went misdiagnosed for a week and a half.

More than half a year later, having suffered devastating damage to her heart, Tina is on the verge of a heart transplant. We are hopeful--yet terrified. Our boat is full of water!

My One Year Bible reading today includes the portion of Luke 8 where Jesus calms the storm. Allow me to share a few observations.

#1--"The disciples went and woke Him up, shouting, 'Master, Master, we're going to drown!'" (v24a)  Their fear was real. They believed death was almost certain. Notice they address Jesus as "Master". He is the boss, the leader, the one in charge, and the one with all of the answers. He is responsible! Like the disciples, my boat is full of water and there is nothing that I can do about it. Bailing water won't help! Swimming lessons won't help! Shouting at the wind won't help! However, shouting "Master, Master!" will always help! "Master" implies that I know who is in control. "Master" says that I know who is making the decisions.

#2--"When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and the raging waves." (v24b)  I imagine that the disciples woke Jesus up with urgency. I doubt they whispered. They were shouting! Yelling! Screaming! That's how I need to learn to pray--loud and impolitely! Wake up! Help! Master!

#3--"Suddenly the storm stopped and all was calm." (v24c)  I like this part. Their cry brought His calm. Their shout brought His stillness. As the song says, sometimes He calms the storm and sometimes He calms me.  

#4--"Then He asked them, 'Where is your faith?'" (v25a)  This is the million-dollar question of the day. Where is my faith? What am I trusting?  There are those wonderful, if not brief, moments when I trust God in between my doubt and despair.  May those moments become minutes, and the minutes become mountain-moving measures of extraordinary faith!

"No one would have crossed the ocean if he could have gotten off the ship in the storm."
 --Charles Kettering