Summary: When it comes to following Jesus it’s not always an EASY TRIP. In this message we are going to learn three lessons for living above the storms.
Living Above the Storm
After World War II ended, a group of German students volunteered to help rebuild an English Cathedral in London. The team of students worked tirelessly to restore the cathedral since it had undergone severe damage during the war. They did well with all the repairs except for one marble statue of Jesus Christ that had been shattered into many pieces during the war. The statue once stood tall with arms and hands outstretched with an inscription beneath it that read, “Come unto me.” The team was able to restore most of the statue, except the hands of Jesus.
They were stumped at what to do with the statue. Should they leave the statue as it was? Should they try to create new hands for Jesus? After much thought and deliberation, they decided to leave the statue standing there with no hands, but they changed the inscription beneath it. It now reads, “He has no hands but ours.” In other words, you are invited to be His hands in this world! I’m grateful that this church is an example of people who are the hands of Jesus. We know that our adversary, the devil, is active to deceive and destroy. He does not want people to learn and grow in the truth.
HE HAS NO HANDS BUT OURS. I’m thankful that this church is the hands of Jesus in the community… Thank you for having me here to share the Word with you.
I remember a time on the Big Island shortly after I had moved there for school in 1994, when some friends and I went to the South Point. How many of you have been there before?
Are you familiar with that high cliff area with the big drop into the ocean and a scrawny ladder that helps you climb out of the water onto the cliff? How high is that cliff? 40 feet? (last time I told the story it was 30 feet)
Anyways, as often happened in my younger days when a group of us got together, we would encourage each other to do something stupid, like jumping off the cliff into the water. Somehow, of the group, only I and a friend named Liz were even considering making the jump. She said she would go if I go, but I was smarter… I assured her that I would go if she would go… I knew she wasn’t’ really going to jump! We really were not the brightest people in the world.
After a long time of contemplation and deep meditation, we decide to take the plunge. Liz goes first. Off the cliff and into the water!
I remember standing at the end of the cliff looking down considering the jump. Everyone is behind me yelling. "Jump! Jump! Jump!" I think to myself, "Why do I have to conform to everyone else? Why do I have to impress others? Doesn’t the bible say not to be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind? I put together all the logic in the world, but what drove me off the cliff was that the logic saying, "If a girl did it, I can too." I've now come to realize what a dumb idea that is. Ladies, if you want to jump off cliffs, you go. I am not following. I didn’t learn that lesson at the time however. I remember stepping off the cliff, and you know those times in the movies when your life flashes before your eyes and time slows down? It is true. I remember seeing scenes from my childhood and hearing the theme of Titanic (not really), and I remember looking down thinking, "I change my mind. I want to go back! I don’t want to do this anymore!"
I had already made the leap and I was not going back. There was no turning back at this point. Sometimes in life, you cannot go back. Sometimes in life, after you make the jump, you can never be the same again, and you have to just keep going forward. There are times in life, as there are times in our journey with God that you cannot go back. You make a leap for God and there is no going back to who you were before. Jesus challenged the disciples back then to make the bold decision to recognize Him for whom He is, and to not look back, and He would empower them to NEVER be the same again. He challenges us today to do the same! Sometimes when you jump, you just can’t go back!
We see in Mark 4 a time when the disciples made a jump and could not go back. They got into the boat with Jesus and they did not understanding who Jesus is and who they were in Jesus Christ.