1. storms come in deep waters!
A Boy Scout Troop I know (Incidentally this is Scout Sunday)… every time they goes camping… it rains. Not only rains, but pours. One time, it was raining so hard they simply stayed in their tents as much as possible. They were camping near the banks of a normally dry stream. The Camp Director finally came and asked them to pack up and move to the main building. Thirty minutes after moving a wall of water swept through what had been their campsite. What happens when storms arise?
- They bring fear,
- panic may set in
- dark clouds cause depression
- with the storm may come doubt
What does the Scripture tell us the disciples experienced? Look at the words the scripture uses to describe their experience
- strong winds
- the waters grew rough!
Storms do come up in our daily lives: Serious illnesses; accidents; catastrophes; home foreclosures; drops in business; divorces; diseases; death; Unemployment; lost savings; loneliness (to name only a few).
2. The Disciples kept rowing!
So what do we do when the current gets swift? What do we do when the boat is swamping? When the wind is blowing; when the deck is shaking? How do we weather the storms of Life? What did the disciples do? They kept “rowing”. In fact they rowed 3-3 ½ miles. It signifies a long distance in a storm. They didn't just say, "Look theirs a beach" and they rowed over to it and got out! No! When the storm of life came, they kept rowing! And rowing! And rowing! Rowing even against the odds!
So what do we do? We keep rowing! Keep moving forward! Keep trying! Stay the course!
3. The Disciples also "stayed" in the boat!
The didn't jump to false conclusions! Didn't let the fear overcome them to the point of wanting to abandon ship.
Sometimes in the storms of life we want to give up; throw in the towel; cash in the chips; abandon the ship! This is not the example the disciples set for us, but rather, they stayed the course and remained in the boat surrounded by their friends. So too we must maintain our faith, stay in the church, refuse to give up!
4. Jesus calms our fears: What is over our heads is under Jesus feet.
Something else happens in this story! Jesus appears! He calms their fears and when he steps into the boat they immediately were on the shore. Think about some great Bible stories:
- You can have five loaves, and two fish… then add Jesus, it feeds 5,000
- A woman is threatened to be stoned for adultery… add Jesus, she goes away forgiven
- Cleopas and his friend were grieving on the road to Emmaus… add Jesus, their eyes were open in the breaking of the bread
- Zacharias, was a sinner, a tax collector, not well liked… Add Jesus as a dinner guest, he began to repay everything he ever wrongfully took
- Jesus asleep in the boat, a storm arises, winds and wave are beating the boat about… wake Jesus up, He rebukes the storm and calms the seas.
I had a thought about this story. Occasionally I do have an original thought (or at least I think I do). Let’s look at what this story represents. It is a normal day. They were heading out across the lake. The disciples “we’re in the boat” so to speak. And then a storm arises. Darkness. Winds come up. Waves toss the boat about.
It is a story that represents life! Going about our daily business and life happens! Storm comes up. But what is our greatest fear? Being capsized and thrown into the turbulent waters. Watch one episode of “Deadliest Catch” in Alaska’s Bearing Sea and you’ll know the dangers of turbulent waters. A leg trapped in a crab pot line will pull you under. The freezing cold water can cause a heart attack instantly.
Even if that doesn’t happen hypothermia starts setting in and survivability is like 3 ½ minutes.
But even being dumped from a boat in turbulent warm water, where our feet can’t touch the bottom and the water is over our head is fearful! That is the point of this story, the storm and the water is over our head.
But, what is over our head, is under Jesus’ foot! Jesus walks on the water! He is in control of it! We need not fear the storms, add Jesus, give Him control!
- Marriage in trouble, over your head, add Jesus and let Him take it under foot!
- Facing surgery or in the midst of illness, swirling waters over your head, let Jesus walk on the water and calm your storm.
- Life out of control, winds beating you about the boat, invite Jesus to take it all under foot
I'm going to invite you this morning to join me in prayer. Realize the storm that you are in right now, and as we pray, remember that what is over your head, is under Jesus' foot!