Monday, September 24, 2012


I do love the four Gospels.  Speaking personally, they are my strongest spiritual vitality ‘lifeline.’  I am especially blessed by the eyewitness accounts of the synoptic Gospel writers [Matthew, Mark and Luke] about their experiences with Jesus.  One of these is the dramatic parallel narrative found in Matthew 8, Mark 4 and Luke 8, as they tell about Jesus calming the storm – I said, “What!?”  Yes, that’s right… and the disciples’ response on that occasion is just like ours when we read about it.

A furious squall came up, the waves were breaking over the boat, so that it nearly swamped it.  Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion.  The disciples woke him and cried, “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 the 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!”

I am sure that the Holy Spirit prompted the Gospel writers to record this moment for some important reasons.  I cannot think of a more reassuring passage for us to internalize for life… so many great lessons:

-       Storms happen, even to the disciples.
-       Fear is the ‘knee jerk’ reaction to storms.
-       If you belong to Jesus, he is in your boat.
-       The fact that he is asleep should help you keep your perspective.
-       Panic may be predictable, but it is not admirable.
-       Jesus has the authority to calm any storm.
-       Faith should ‘trump’ fear if you are a disciple.
-       There is always going to be peace and calm after the storm.

When Job’s trial ended, God removed his affliction and returned to him twice as much as he had lost [Job 42:10].  Joseph, after years of slavery and imprisonment, reached the highest levels of government, all the riches of the country at his disposal [Genesis 41:39ff].  When Christ’s confrontation with the devil in the desert had ended, angels came to minister to Him [Matthew 4:11].  When the storm is over, He restores and multiplies His blessings to us.  As the psalmist observes, “His anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.”  [Psalm 30:5]

Pray with me… Father, Lord Jesus, Holy Spirit thank you for the many places in scripture we are reminded that the strength of our faith will sustain us in the storms of life.  Forgive us for the way we nibble around the edges of faith instead of internalizing its substance and experiencing the kind of strength to be able to enjoy the ride when the storms come, knowing that with Jesus asleep in the boat, the storms are powerless and the calm is just ahead.  In Jesus’ strong name, amen.

Pastor Ken

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