Mark 4:35-41

These men weren’t novices nor were they sissies. They knew their
lake; knew her sudden, violent mood swings. All it would take was
one good wave broadside — and goodbye Peter, John, and sleeping

What a perfect opportunity for a lesson in faith. What a perfect storm!

Take the trip.

Like the Twelve, we’ve embarked on a journey with Jesus. We’ve
heard His Word. We know He’s with us. We know where we’re going.
We’re with the Right Man and the right group in the right boat.
Everything is as it should be.

Our journey with Jesus may start out quite pleasantly. The sun
glints off the surface of a placid lake. We’re filled with wonder at
the beauty and the peace. Everything’s fine, just fine! The things
we believe seem as real and solid as the boat about us. And

Feel the terror.

The sky grows dark. The waves fly over the deck like fat, groping
arms. In minutes, the placid lake has become a boiling cauldron of
death. Fear tosses faith like a pro-wrestler throws a 98-pound
weakling out of the ring.

Remember when Lucy and Ethel took a job as candy-wrappers at a
conveyer belt? The belt speeds up and hilarity ensues. They’re
reduced to stuffing chocolates down their blouses in an effort to
cope with the flood of sweetness. But we don’t laugh when life sends
wave after wave of trouble our way. Bill-collectors threaten, cancer
leaves its sinister calling card, storms of the figurative and literal
variety tear the sail from our mast.

Meanwhile, where is the God with whom we began the journey? Why, He appears to be asleep!

Pray the prayer.

There are no atheists in foxholes. Nor are there apathetic
disciples in wildly rocking boats! The wind cuts no more sharply
than their rebuke: “Don’t you care we’re going to die!” Ever prayed
like that – angrily, desperately? At least, such prayer shows we
believe God’s within earshot!

At times, I’ve prayed desperately, not to say despairingly.
Sometimes the answer seemed long in coming (though not so long now),
but the Lord has never let me down. The survivor of several storms,
I must agree with the songwriter: “He didn’t bring us this far to
leave us. He didn’t teach us to swim to let us drown.”

What a sight it must’ve been: The howling wind plastering his
robe to his body. His hair and beard flying back like a cape. He
sways but doesn’t fall. He barks a command, “Be quiet. Be muzzled.”
And, like a great dog, the wind and the waves drop at the feet of
their master and lie still.

Ponder the puzzle.

He rebukes his men for lack of faith. I wonder if they even heard
him. Dripping and astonished, they ponder what manner of sleeping
giant they have aroused! “Who is this then, that even wind and sea
obey him?”

So we will wonder if we stay on the journey with Jesus. This
scenario will play again and again throughout our lives: the trip,
the terror, the prayer, and the puzzle. Again and again we will go
to class until we finally learn the lesson: He is Lord of all.

If He allows us to travel across the lake of life with Him, it
must be because He means to take us where He’s going. If He means to
take us where He’s going, what can keep us from getting there? Not
wind, not rain, not trouble nor pain.

Whether the wrath of the storm-tossed sea,
Or demons, or men, or whatever it be,
No water can swallow the ship where lies
The Master of ocean and earth and skies.

The same goes for those so privileged as to be in the ship with Him.

Ponder the puzzle.

Sermon provided
by: Gary Robinson, Preaching Minister at
Conneautville (PA) Church of Christ.

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