"And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full"-Mark 4:37
Here we find the disciples in much the same circumstance that we will find ourselves in from time to time: they were in a storm. Life is full of storms: big ones, little ones, short ones, long ones. This one was a "great storm of wind". As experienced seamen, they had done all they could do. Panic and fear gripped them. They go for the Master.
A few years ago, I was deep sea fishing off the coast of Houston, in the Gulf of Mexico. We were about ten miles out, a beautiful sunny day, when suddenly a little black could appeared on the horizon. It appeared relatively harmless. Closer and closer it came, when suddenly, it was over us. The world turned black, the wind blew the forty-footer mercilessly, thunder deafened the sky and lighting pierced the waters. I well remember the feeling of helplessness. Such are the storms of life. Things become cloudy and dark; the future is doubtful; fearful thunders roar up in our ears and a feeling of helplessness penetrates our hearts. Yet, there is hope. Even in the darkest storm there is Jesus who is our hope.
There is a lot that we may learn from storms. That was the purpose of this particular storm, to teach the disciples. A pop quiz you might say. They would learn much from this storm. Let us learn with them.
JESUS ALWAYS COMES
There are a lot of storms in the Bible. Jonah was cast overboard in a storm prepared by God. Paul was shipwrecked in the great storm, "Euroclydon". In another place, we find Jesus sitting on the mountain as He watched the disciples toiling and rowing to get out of a storm. As I consider these storms, there is one principle that I find great comfort in: I can not find a storm in which God abandoned His disciples. The Lord always came. He will come in yours.
JESUS SOUGHT AS A LAST RESORT
Do we not see a reflection of ourselves in the disciples? Though they were followers of Christ, they waited until the boat was "full" before they sought the Master. Why did they wait so long? Many reasons may be suggested. Pride can keep us from Him. "We are mariners, we can handle this one", I can hear them say. Strong people, those who say they are strong, are many times weakest in the storm because they try to handle it alone. He who slew Goliath would say, "Have mercy upon me, O LORD; for I am weak: O LORD, heal me; for my bones are vexed"-Psalm 6:2. David knew the source of his strength. He did not face Goliath alone. Jehovah's hand guided the stone and sped it on its way. An unction from the Holy Spirit gave David his strength. Where is yours?
Perhaps the disciples did not want to trouble the Master with such a trivial matter. They would not seek him unless things got out of hand. Many times, that is our case. He is our last resort. We may boast that there is nothing too big for the Lord, yet we are prone to forget that there is likewise no matter too small. The Lord takes delight in sharing every detail of our lives.
They expected the worse: "carest not that we perish". Yet, who can perish when the creator of the universe is at hand?
They doubted His care: "carest not". Peter learned. Later he wrote, "Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you"-1Peter 5:7. Big cares, little cares, all cares are to be cast upon the shoulders of the great bearer of burdens.
TALK TO JESUS
Why was Jesus asleep in the first place? He was "asleep on a pillow" in the midst of the storm. Surely, He was not worried. The storm was His own teaching device. Yet, we find Him in a solitary place, asleep. He shows us that He is never worried and He is always in control, even in the darkest storm. Though we know it on paper, we must remember it in our storm. Another thought is very rich. He is equally asleep because no one is talking to Him. Many dark clouds will pass us by when we keep Jesus on deck. Lord, help us to remember in our storm!
Come and worship with us at Harmony Primitive Baptist Church, in Donaldson, where God is sovereign, and salvation is by His abundant and amazing grace. Visit our web page at www.primitivebaptist.org/donaldson/ Singing begins at 10:30 each Sunday morning followed by preaching at 11:00.
By His mercy and grace,
Neil Phelan, Jr., Pastor