Summary: WITH FOCUS FIXED ON JESUS, ONE CAN RISE ABOVE LIFE¡¦S WAVES. Three times in this passage, the word ¡§immediately¡¨ introduces something Jesus does. Each action reveals a need of the disciples that the Lord met in the time of storm. Here are Three indisp
Lessons from Storms in the Scripture #6 -- August 5, 2001-- AM
SINKING IN THE STORM
-- The Storm Where Peter Walked on the Water --
(1) When an important event has unexpected and undesirable shifts in circumstances, one normal outcome is a sinking feeling in the stomach. It is called ¡§sinking feeling¡¨ because it is nearly identical with the feeling experienced with the rapid change in bodily elevation one feels when he travels in a fast-moving vehicle or vessel and hits a sudden rise or dip. The up and down motion leaves abdominal contents trying to catch up with the body. It is a sinking feeling and it grips the pit of one¡¦s stomach.
(2) Leith Anderson describes one of his most memorable sinking feelings.
It was in 1965 that I graduated from Moody Bible Institute, and a week later to the day, Charlene and I were married. Then ten days after that I began one of those summer jobs that is typically in the biography, I suppose, of just about every college student; I became a delivery man for the Steuben Brothers’ Bakery just outside of New York City. I had one week of training--by a man who had run that particular delivery route for twenty years.
How well I remember the first day I was on my own. It turned out that it was Fourth of July weekend and he, thinking that it would be as if he were running the route, ordered double of everything. So we had twice as many cakes and twice as many loaves of bread and twice as many pies and twice as many cupcakes and all of these things for me to sell on that first day at work. I arrived at the warehouse at 4:30 in the morning. It took me an hour and a half to fill the bins and shelves, and I couldn’t get it in, so all of the walkway--everything--was filled with all of these bakery goods.
At 6:00 I stood behind the wheel of the truck and started it up. Oh yes, stood behind the wheel of the truck. It was a Divco truck. This is the way you drive a Divco truck: There’s no accelerator on the floor; the accelerator is the knob at the end of the gearshift lever. When you turn it clockwise, you go faster, and when you turn it counterclockwise, you go slower. But the most exciting part is that you stand up, and there is one pedal: halfway down is the clutch, and the rest of the way down is the brake. I hadn’t had much experience driving this particular vehicle. I stood behind the wheel, started it up, put it in low gear, and drove through the warehouse out onto Broad Street in Clifton, New Jersey.
Everything was great until I shifted into second gear and somewhat intuitively pushed the pedal all the way to the floor. The truck came to a screeching halt, and all the pies and cakes came flying to the front--all over the windshield, around the steering column, and up against the glass. There I was, stopped out there having damaged almost all the bakery goods I was there that day to sell.
As I reflect on that gooey mess, and I must admit I have a recurrence of that sinking feeling in my heart when that happened, it seems to me my trainer had mentioned that might happen, and he said I ought to be very careful not to press the pedal all the way to the floor when shifting from one gear to another. But I didn’t listen to everything he had to say. -- Leith Anderson, "Unlistened-to Lessons of Life," Preaching Today, Tape No. 48.
(3) Knowing your own responsibility and the potential effects of your carelessness intensifies the dip in your stomach. The stark reality of the setting makes an involuntary response almost immediate. In part, this is because the consequences are threatening, sudden, and beyond your control.
It has been said that to realize the worth of the anchor we need to feel the stress of the storm (Baptist Progress). During a storm, the Apostle Peter once experienced a plummeting sensation. He was on a lake during contrary winds, where he felt the drag of the elements, the accompanying sinking feeling, and the rescuing grip of the Savior. In the storm, he sank but in Jesus, he found his stability ¡V an anchor that came from above and was worthy of his attention.
PROPOSITION: WITH FOCUS FIXED ON JESUS, ONE CAN RISE ABOVE LIFE¡¦S WAVES.
Three times in this passage, the word ¡§immediately¡¨ introduces something Jesus does. Each action reveals a need of the disciples that the Lord met in the time of storm. Here are Three indispensable contributions from the Lord to His disciples in the storm.