Leading up to the account of this storm we read that Jesus had spent 40 days in the wilderness and then started to preach, and had called His first disciples.
Crowds were following Him everywhere, He was healing people and setting them free from all sorts of things and news about Him was spreading fast!
We also read about the Beatitudes, how we should pray, telling us not to worry or judge others, basically how we should live. Jesus was very busy!
Then we come to chapter 8, He says to the disciples let’s go to the other side of the lake; He was tired. He gets in the boat and His disciples follow Him.
Getting into a boat was normal for the disciples, they knew the waters in that area, they knew what they were doing and they gladly followed Jesus.
Then, at some point as they were sailing across, with no warning, there was a furious storm! The sea of Galilee is known, because of how it’s situated, for sudden and dangerous storms.
I’m sure the disciples had been out in storms before and dealt with it, so I’m thinking maybe this was something like they had never experienced before. They thought they would drown.
Verse 24 says: it came without warning and the waves were sweeping over the boat….and Jesus was sleeping!! Sleeping? How is that possible?
Now I don’t think the disciples went to Jesus and gave Him a nudge, Jesus wake up. I think they were in in a panic, “Lord save us, we’re going to drown!”
Jesus woke up and said, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” and then He rebuked the storm and it was instantly calm.
The disciples were amazed, even after witnessing everything Jesus had been doing, they were amazed that the wind and waves even obeyed Him.
Jesus wasn’t shocked by the storm, He knew when He boarded the boat what was ahead, He didn’t need a weather forecast.
Our lives are a bit like that boat, everything is great and we’re sailing along enjoying life and then wham! Suddenly we’re in the midst of a life storm!
A health issue, a job loss, a relationship problem, loss of a loved one…It comes without warning. You feel like you’re in the dark, struggling to stay afloat, being tossed every which way. You feel your problems are suffocating you? Your heart is sinking? I’ve been there many times.
It’s easy to think God where are you? What’s happening? It’s like He’s deserted you and your prayers are hitting a brick wall. You look around at others and think “It’s alright for them! They don’t know what I’m going through”; truth is maybe they are feeling the same and thinking the same as you or me. We let our hurts and anger turn into bitterness.
We start to become a bit like this egg, looking fine on the outside, but a little hard on the inside.
Or, perhaps, we’re like this carrot, gone to pieces completely! Our emotions are uncontrollable; we can’t think straight.
We’re headed for the pity party, the poor old me’s. I’ve definitely been there! I remember someone sharing, some time back, about a serious health issue she had and how she went through it, and she said something like it’s ok to have a bit of a pity party…. but don’t stay there.
There’s nothing wrong with being upset or afraid, there’s nothing wrong with asking God what’s going on. He doesn’t want us to shut down our feelings, but he also doesn’t want us to let them take us over either.
The disciples followed Jesus into the boat and when you follow Jesus there will still be problems, life crises, and difficulties. He told us that in John 16:33, “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world”.
Maybe Jesus is waiting for us, longing for us, to “wake Him up!” To turn to Him and ask for help. I don’t just mean a quick “Help me Jesus” kind of prayer. Although I’ve certainly sent a lot of those up to Him! I mean getting close to Him, spending time with Him. Telling Him our fears, our concerns. talking to God helps us begin to think about our story with a different perspective—and it helps keep our hearts tender.
Are we spending time with Him?
Are we listening for His “still small voice” Are we even giving Him chance to speak? Or do we blurt it all out and then get up from our prayers and carry on?
Don’t just pray alone, ask somebody to pray for you and with you. Romans 12:15 says, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, mourn with those who mourn”. Tell somebody, a trusted friend or a church leader, what you’re going through.
When you pray, pray God’s word, speak it out and confess it, it’s amazing how just doing that will lift your spirit.
Are you regularly reading & taking in His word? When I was at university I remember I was so busy reading for my studies that I let my bible reading slip away. My bible was gathering dust in the corner. Is that the case for some of us?
The whole point of what I’m saying is to encourage us to get close and stay close to God, not to make anyone feel guilty.
Is my heart hard, or an emotional mess? Lacking any deep relationship with the Lord?
Proverbs 4:23 tells us, “Above all else guard your heart, for it is the well-spring of life”.
By being honest with God about how we feel, we can begin to process our feelings in a healthy way. Rather than let our hurts and anger turn into bitterness, talking to God helps us begin to think about our story with a different perspective—and it helps keep our hearts tender.
When we pray God may not answer the way we want Him to. Sometimes we might think we know the way something will go, but it doesn’t always work like that. He may say Yes, He may say No, I have a better idea, He may say wait it’s going to take time, but I’m with you.
You’re probably wondering about the coffee pot.
The egg, the carrot and the coffee grounds have all experienced the same ordeal, hot water. The egg has become hard, the carrot has gone to pieces, but the coffee has sent out a beautiful aroma!
2 Corinthians 2:14-15 says this, “But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.”
In whatever “hot water” or “storm” we might be going through, God wants us to be the “pleasing aroma of Christ” in this world.
Those around us will know there is something different about us, how we deal with things, how we live.
If you’re experiencing a tough time at the moment, take it to Jesus and spend some time with Him, get alone with Him, with no distractions. Share your worries with a trusted friend or church leader. Ask for help!
He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” He pours “Grace upon Grace” on us.
We need to stay close to Him, it’s up to us.
To listen: https://www.lcf.biz/sermons/an-egg-a-carrot-and-some-coffee