Gabriel's Horn, Pastor George Weaver, February, 2013

posted Feb 2, 2013, 9:17 AM by Lois Kerchner   [ updated Feb 2, 2013, 9:17 AM ]

Stormy Ventures

The Gospel of Mark chapter 4:35-41 describes a scene where Jesus and the disciples are out on the open water at night in a small fishing vessel. When a super violent storm comes up on the Sea of Galilee and crashing waves pound against their rocking boat, the disciples fear for their lives. Jesus was the one who had suggested to them in the first place, “Let’s cross over to the other side of the lake.” This trip was Jesus’ idea from the beginning, and then almost immediately afterwards he had curled up in the rear of the boat and gone to sleep. It almost appears as though Jesus deliberately led his disciples into a crisis situation.

 Presumably, this was more than a coincidence. While the disciples were following Jesus in his teaching ministry, Jesus constantly kept a step ahead, preparing them for continuing his work later. Little did they actually know what was in store for them as they journeyed with Jesus. Certainly, at this point their only interest was to survive the present storm and see their families and friends again.  ln their wildest dreams they had no inkling whatsoever of what lay ahead for them down the road.

 Jesus’ followers had a lot to learn: such as the kinds of things they could discover only in storms. It’s one thing to tell a group of fishermen about Christ’s power; it’s another to show them. What seemed at first to be just a really bad night at sea was actually an opportunity to experience something about Christ Jesus that no one could have explained with mere words. What an amazing venture for them to actually experience Jesus’ calming the furious turbulence!

Jesus apparently led them into a colossal storm so that he could demonstrate for them some things that they had never experienced before with their teacher. When the winds are howling and everything in life seems to be coming apart, we need to be ready to pray: “Lord, show us what you want us to see and learn, even if we too have to go through a storm. Draw us closer to you today. Amen.”

 None of us knows with certainty or in any detail what lies in store in the days to come. What can be said with Confidence is that God in Christ will provide. I like the words of the Gospel Song: “The Lord’s our Rock, in Him we hide, a shelter in the time of storm; secure whatever ill betide, a shelter in the time of storm. A shade by day, defense by night; no fears alarm, no foes affright; the raging storms may ‘round us beat; we’ll never leave our safe retreat; O Rock divine, O Refuge dear; be Thou our helper ever near.”

 And the chorus says: “Oh, Jesus is a Rock in a weary land, a weary land, a weary land; Oh, Jesus is a Rock in a weary land, a shelter in the time of storm.” To which followers of Jesus, be it in the 1st or 21st century, should be able to say, “Amen!”

 George Weaver, Pastor of Maturing Ministries