Summary: We all move through storms in life, Jesus will always be there for us.
In the Storm
August 4, 2013
Do you ever feel like life is cruising along. The family is healthy, work is good, retirement is good, friends are good, there’s no real stress in life. All seems really, really good. You feel good about life, no cares, no worries. Even the Cubs are winning.
Then, out of nowhere . . . it hits. It’s the absolutely most imperfect storm imaginable . . . and it’s your storm. You didn’t ask for it, you didn’t want it, but somehow, that storm found you. It didn’t ask for your permission, it didn’t ask if this was the right time. It just came like a guided missile with your name on it and it hit! BOOM!
Well, for the next few weeks we’re going to look at storms in life. We’re going to look at storms and our reaction from a couple of different angles to see how we can make it through those tough times.
You’ve been there before haven’t you? We look at the Lord and we cry out, “Lord, this is getting ridiculous.” Have you been there? Haven’t we all, at one time or another, felt that we had more than our fair share?
There’s the cartoon where Charlie Brown builds a beautiful sandcastle, works on it for hours. Finally he stands back, looks at it. It’s wonderful. Just as he’s singing and admiring it, a person comes up and knocks over his masterpiece. Now, he’s standing where his beautiful masterpiece was, on level sand, wondering, “I know there’s a lesson in this, but I’m not sure what it is.”
Every one of us has our sandcastles blown away. Every once in awhile we back up and say, “Why am I being hit with this storm of life?” And like Charlie Brown, we wonder, “I know there’s a lesson in this, but I’m not sure what it is.”
Sometimes these storms are caused by the devil, sometimes by other people, sometimes by us. Sometimes they’re allowed by the Lord. They come from different sources, but they do have a purpose in our life.
One of the most difficult things during a storm is to consider what does God want me to learn from this storm. With that in mind, I want to read from Matthew 14. It’s a wild and crazy time in Jesus’ life. He’s going through the highs and lows of living life, of living like you and I do. You see, Matthew 14 opens with the beheading of John the Baptist by Herod. Jesus was upset because if you remember, John was His cousin. They were the same age and most likely played quite a bit together when they were growing up. So, Jesus wants to withdraw to a quiet place, to reflect, to pray; but when He does, crowds followed Him and there were so many, that He began to heal people and we see the miracle of 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish feeding thousands of people.
This is what happens next ~
22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He dismissed the crowds.
23 And after He had dismissed the crowds, Jesus went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. When evening came, He was there alone,
24 but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them.
25 And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea.
26 But when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear.
27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”
Since, we’re going to be looking at storms for a few weeks, we’ll take a look at Peter’s water walking adventure next week. What I really want to do today is look at the fact that storms occur in our lives.
You may be thinking, “Really! Tell me something I don’t know.” Yet, more often than not, we don’t think storms should hit us. We’re good people, we attend church, we read the Bible and pray and try to do good, we give our money, we give our time and serve. And yes, we’re sinners, but that’s why we have Jesus. So, we think — “this shouldn’t be happening to me!”
So, the first thing I want to tell you is that everyone has storms. In fact, for many of you, the storm clouds have already gathered, and you’re trying to figure out your game plan. For some of you, you may be in the worst storm of your life. And the reasons for our storms vary.