38 Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown? — Mark 4:38 NLT
I wonder how many sermons we have heard preached on this passage of scripture from Mark.
Some emphasize how frightened the disciples are, others question why Jesus would sleep during the storm or how He could sleep during the storm. We have heard that when we are in the storm, God will calm the storm or He will calm us. But I wonder if we are missing the real point of this story. Look at what Jesus said to His disciples:
“Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
I wonder if what Jesus really wanted to know was if the disciples had enough faith in Him to take care of them in the storm, no matter how high the waves. In our lives, do we trust God to take care of us when the wind is blowing hard against our sails and the waves threaten to sink our boat? Does it matter how strong the waves are when we are anchored in the SOLID ROCK? If God chooses not to calm our present storm, He will deliver us in the storm or through the storm. We just need to keep your eyes and thoughts focused on Jesus, not on the storm. Peter was able to walk on the water as long as He was focused on Jesus but he begin to sink when he focused on the wind and the strong waves.
3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. — 2 Cor. 1:3 NLT
God, in His great love for us, wants to relieve us of all of our grief and distress. It is not His desire that we should suffer. No parent wants to see his or her child suffer. We want to reach out and comfort our children even when they may have caused their discomfort by a bad decision that they made. Love says help them, but Godly compassion says that there are times when they and we must endure those times of distress and grief so that we learn not to repeat our mistakes. As parents, we want to deliver our kids from the storm. The lesson that we need to learn and that we need to teach our children is that God doesn’t always need to deliver us from the storm, He is able to comfort us in the storm. Rough seas may come and destructive winds may blow but nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. When God doesn’t immediately deliver us from the storm we must seek His comfort in the storm. Then we will be able to pass that comfort, peace and joy on to those around us.
24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. — Matthew 7:24, 25 NIV
In the early days of aviation, long before the technology that produced GPS and other navigational aids, pilots would fly using only visual references. Using nothing but their sense of direction, the location of the sun and familiar landmarks, they were able to go from point to point. They would often pick out a road and follow along that route. Pilots kept the aircraft upright, straight and level by watching the horizon and the pressure they would feel on their posterior to determine if they were ascending or descending. This type of flying became known as “flying by the seat of your pants”. Because the pilot used only his physical senses, he would, at times, become slightly disoriented. Needless to say, this type of flying often ended up with the pilot flying or following a path that was not always a straight line. If the pilot became too disoriented and confused, the result was a crash often ending in the pilot’s death. The pilots could only fly in clear skies so that all the physical landmarks would be visible to the human eye. At that time, it was impossible to fly above a cloud layer or through storms. Avaitors had to wait until techonology was developed to help them navigate and maintain orientation to fly above the clouds and through the stormy weather.
How many of us live our lives “by the seat of our pants” depending only on our feelings and the things that we can see to guide us? Like the old pilots, we may do all right as long as there is clear weather, no storms, no clear air turbulence and no major wind shifts to blow us off course. But what happens when the storms of life come? What happens when our feelings lead us off course? We have Someone that we can trust to carry us safely through the storm. When our sense of purpose fails us, we have One who will keep us on course and fly us straight to safety. But, God is not satisfied with being our navigator or our copilot, He wants to be our Pilot and He does not need a navigator. He doesn’t want to be our Pilot just in the storms, He wants to be our Pilot in the clear skies as well. With God, the plan is always “all in” or it won’t work. Build on the Solid Rock and trust Him with every part of your life.