Summary: The Storms that hit us in life don't have to destroy us.
November 15, 2015
It never fails, does it? Just when you think you’ll have some peace and quiet, someone comes to the door, or the telephone rings, you get a text message, the baby cries, a water pipe breaks, the boss calls for you! Peace is so precious, isn’t it? And sometimes, it’s so elusive.
This past Friday night was a typical night. Nothing out of the ordinary was happening. Yet it was! We quickly learned that Paris was under attack. People attending a concert, a soccer match, at various cafes . . . People expecting a quiet, peaceful, fun night . . . were thrust into chaos, panic and death.
It’s not supposed to be that way! I’m not going to make a political statement, this is not about politics, it’s tragic, it’s unnecessary. It makes our petty squabbles seem so pathetic and ludicrous. Lives were lost . . . for what?
We seek peace and we struggle to find it. We experience storms in the midst of a beautiful Friday evening. Our sense of balance in life is stolen. It could have been Chicago, Indianapolis, New York, anywhere! So, what do we do in the midst of the storms? We run, we hide, we cry out, we despair. We desperately want peace and security, but it seems to not come.
Peace . . . it seems so passive, yet it is such a powerful word, isn’t it? Yet, so often – peace is a stranger to most people. We accumulate lots of stuff, we live in such a fast paced world, we know the news as soon as it occurs. And included in all of that is a sense of peacelessness. Stress and anxiety are more prevalent then peace.
We are going to face many storms in our lives. Most of our storms will not be like the ones in Paris. They are just our everyday – ordinary struggles . . .
And in the midst of the storms where will you find peace? For so many people that is a deep longing of the heart . . . Peace, wonderful, powerful peace. How will that come? When will it arrive?
Today, we are going to take a break from looking at the church and yet, we are looking at the church. In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus and the disciples had been tremendously busy doing ministry. Mark 4 starts out telling us . . .
1 Again Jesus began to teach beside the sea. And a very large crowd gathered about him, so that He got into a boat and sat in it on the sea, and the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land.
The crowds were huge, there were so many people, it was easier for Jesus to teach from a boat. There was no rest . . . until Jesus gave them an offer they couldn’t refuse. Let’s listen to what happened at the end of the day ~
35 On that day, when evening had come, Jesus said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.”
36 And leaving the crowd, they took Him with them in the boat, just as He was. And other boats were with Him.
37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling.
38 But He was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”
39 And He awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
40 He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?”
41 And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?” – Mark 4:35-41
It was the end of a busy day and Jesus made a great offer, let’s go to the other side, we can relax, eat and hang out. Sounds like a great plan. Let’s look at what really happened - - -
The key to understanding this story lies in one important question. Whose idea was it to get in the boat in the first place?
Go back and read the text. The answer is very plain. At the end of a busy day of ministry, a day where they spent hours ministering to the needs of people — after giving and giving of themselves, it was Jesus who said, “Let us go across to the other side.” I’m sure the weary and tired disciples were thrilled at this offer.
The crowds were huge and growing with each passing day. Everywhere they went there was a crowd. They came to listen, learn and find healing from the Master. Day after day they came, wanting to hear, desperately wanting to be near Him.