Norma Jean and I are attending the Southside Lectures in Pasadena, Texas, near Houston, and being encouraged and uplifted by the theme “Come to Jesus.
Wilson’s lesson spoke to the common lot of humankind. Job expressed it this way: “Man who is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble” (Job 14:1). Everyone experiences trouble. Trial. Temptation. And adversity. That’s life. The key is not to look at it as something that happens to you. But to see it as an occasion to learn, grow and become stronger.
The text of Wilson’s lesson was Mark 4:35-39. It is the account of Jesus and the disciples crossing to the other side of Sea of Galilee following a busy day of teaching the multitudes. As they were crossing, without warning, a furious storm came down upon the lake. The waves swept over their little boat. It was taking on water. And the disciples were afraid.
Jesus, however, was asleep. Filled with fear, the disciple awoke the Master and implored, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing? Lord save us!”
Jesus asked, “Why are you fearful? O you of little faith?”
Then he got up and said, “Peace, be still.”
The wind ceased. The sea became calm. The storm was over. And the disciples were safe.
Wilson made a great point that the context shows that Jesus’ had been presenting lessons on faith all day. The disciples heard them. But as he opined, “Life is not lived in the controlled environment of the classroom or a church building.” The disciples had to face their fears on the uncertain sea of life. Unfortunately, their faith wavered.
We are reminded that real life can be stormy.
Being a follower of Christ does not exempt us from problems. From Sickness. From Disease. From divorce. Or from death. We are not promised a life of ease. Life can get messy. Complicated. And emotionally challenging. When tough times come, Jesus question resounds, “Where is your faith?”
Our faith is not formed in crises. It is forged day by day as we deal with life’s little challenges. As our faith grows stronger, we are prepared to meet the threatening storm.
There are three take-a-ways that Wilson reminded us from this text.
(1) Calm in your life can quickly turn into a storm.
Skies are blue. The sun is shining. And all is well. Then you get a knock at the door. At phone call. A text message. And in an instant, your world is turned upside down. Are you growing in your faith to be prepared for that unexpected storm?
(2) God’s silence doesn’t mean that He’s uncaring about our problems.
Maybe God is testing our faith. Or saying to hold on for a minute. Maybe he’s trying to teach you patience. Or humility. Or trust. But God always throws you a lifeline. Either through prayer. Or a Bible verse. Or a caring brother in Christ.
(3) Only Jesus can give you strength to endure.
Even though fearful, at least the disciples went to Jesus for help. He’s the answer. He says “Peace be still.” He can soothe your soul. Calm your emotions. Ease your troubled mind. Relieve your conscience. And strengthen your resolve.
When ominous clouds arise, and you feel threatened by the impending storm, stay calm. Hold on to your faith. Don’t give way to your fears. And hear the voice of Jesus say, “Come unto me, all you who are weary, and I will give you rest.”
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman