Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Where do turn to when the storms of life threaten your very existence?

Come In From the Storm

Father James Cloud

St. Mark 4:39

“And He arose, and rebuked the wind and said unto the sea, "Peace, be still." And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.”

Last night was a noisy evening. The thunderstorms rolled in from the east and towards us to the south. The clouds looked perilous and the humidity engulfed us in a moist shroud. I sat and admired one of God’s creations as it barreled down upon us and the raging winds blew around me and the thunder deafened my ears in the tumult. I began to think about the storms we face in this life and the hardships that seem to engulf us as we sojourn in the foreign land and look for the New Jerusalem our home.

In the scripture reference I read, Jesus had been sleeping in the boat while the disciples desperately struggled to keep the small boat afloat. They began to question Christ as to whether or not he even cared about their safety and if he would allow them to drown in the raging storm.

Imagine for a moment the tumult that was going on around the disciples…the waves kept a steady pace as they crashed up and over the boat. The noise of the thunder echoed all around them and the rain pelted their face like pebbles tossed from the devil’s maw. Their muscles ached from the constant struggle that they found themselves in and their will to go on was weakening steadily as they forged through the night. I’m sure their tempers flared when one of them would fail to do their part and help the little boat, and quite possibly words were exchanged that they would be embarrassed to admit to later on.

Then there’s our Lord Jesus Christ. The picture of solemnity and calm. Just enjoying the rocking of the boat and slumbering peacefully as the disciples worked feverishly around him. Finally, when the disciple’s determination had dissolved into panic, they clamored about and in panic stricken voices asked if Christ would simply sleep and allow them to die.

Awoken by the shrill voices and screams of his disciples, Jesus rises and lifts his hand towards the maelstrom and with the same voice that spoke the universe into existence confidently proclaimed…Peace, be still.

Today is no different from that evening with the disciples. We often find ourselves struggling to keep the boat of our life afloat and guarding ourselves against the onslaught of lives challenges the beat a steady chorus against us. They tend to grow louder and louder into a crescendo that begins to deafen our ears to everything around us and blinds our eyes to see nothing but the storm itself. We flail about and grow weary from the struggle in our life and our determination begins to deteriorate into panic. We begin to curse and/or become frustrated with those around us that aren’t doing their part to fight the good fight, and all the while we sense that our loving Savior simply sleeps in the boat of our life and is “insensitive” to what we’re going through or simply doesn’t care about or even understand what we face.

It is at that point that we begin to question the Father and wonder if he really cares about us or not. When then ask ourselves, “Does he even care I’m struggling? Why is he so silent and I am fighting so hard? Where can I go to find shelter from the storm? I am so tired, I want to give up.” It is at that lowest point in our struggle that we can sense the presence of our Holy God, stir within us and we wonder what will happen.

Psalm 61:3

“For Thou hast been a shelter for me and a strong tower from the enemy.”

Proverbs 18:10

“The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe.”

Psalm 18:2

“The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.”

Psalm 91:2

“I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him will I trust."

The scriptures describe our God as a strong tower and shelter in the time of the storm. He shelters us by His mighty hand and guides our paths as we walk the path of life. So what does this mean for us today?

As we are struggling to keep our boat afloat, our Lord slumbers on the deck not because he doesn’t care or that he doesn’t understand. He slumbers because he is confident that nothing can sink our boat no matter how harsh the winds and thunder roars around us. He cares for us so deeply that he will never allow anything more than we can handle in our lives. We are even told that nothing can separate us from the love that is in the Father through Jesus Christ our Sovereign Lord.

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