Summary: "Here is God!" He’s in the boat with us when we’re going through the storms, but often we forget God’s greatness, God’s graciousness, and God’s power.
We all remember Hurricane Katrina and the damage it inflicted on New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. It’s only a memory now, but it left terrible devastation and painful memories that still remain. The other night on the news they were revisiting New Orleans and looking at how much still remains to be done. As I watched, I thought about all those sailors over the centuries who looked to the sea for their livelihood, and how familiar they must’ve been with similar scenarios. Then I also thought how life is often compared to a voyage at sea.
Consider the ancient sailors for a moment. Now they really were the ultimate risk-takers. A weather forecast in those days meant, maybe, a couple of hours warning . . . if they were lucky.
I read about an interesting map that’s on display in the British Museum in London. It’s an old mariner’s chart first drawn in 1525. It outlined the North American coastline and adjacent waters that had been explored. The cartographer made some intriguing notations on areas of the map that represented regions not yet explored. Some of his notations included the following:
* "Here be giants!"
* "Here be fiery scorpions!"
* "Here be dragons."
The article explained that eventually the map came into the possession of Sir John Franklin, a British explorer in the early 1800’s. Franklin scratched out each one of the fearful inscriptions, and he wrote these words in their place: "HERE IS GOD."
How often do we live our lives like we’re following that original map? We sail through waters which seem filled with many dangers. Fear of the unknown becomes very real to us! It seems that "Here be Giants! and "There be fiery scorpions!" and "Near by are terrible dragons." Our fears take away our peace of mind everywhere we turn.
In this mornings Scripture reading, we read Matthew’s account of some disciples in a situation very much like the one I just described. Those disciples forgot something very important. Let’s review a part of that account:
“. . . Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went to him and woke him up, shouting, ‘Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!’ And Jesus answered, ‘Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!’” (Matthew 8:23-26 NLT)
You see, Jesus’ disciples forgot the same thing that we often forget; "Here is God!" He’s in the boat with us when we’re going through the storms, but often we forget God’s greatness, God’s graciousness, and God’s power. Matthew continues his story of Jesus by saying, The disciples just sat there in awe. "Who is this?" they asked themselves. "Even the wind and waves obey him!" (Matthew 8:27)
Our text today finds Jesus and His disciples literally on the sea, and we can learn much about our voyage through life by way of this passage.
At various times, we’re all caught in a storm, and some today may feel they’re about to go under. Well, there’s peace and stillness on the way, if you’ll listen to God’s Word now. Consider Matthew’s story. What was the problem? Well, actually there’s