Summary: “Why does God allow storms in our life?”
The Other Side
Reverend Kelvin Lebron Parks
Associate Minister, Monument of Love Baptist Church
Superintendent of Sunday Morning Bible Study
Prison Ministry Coordinator
27 July 2003
The Gospel According to Luke, Chapter 8
22. Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth.
23. But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy.
24. And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm.
25. And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, what manner of man is this! For he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.
I’m reminded this morning of one of my favorite stories …about Chippie the parakeet. You see -- Chippie was a happy little bird, content every day to sit on his perch, swinging and singing to his little heart’s content. One day Chippie’s owner took the initiative to clean out his cage. She took off the attachment from the end of the vacuum hose and stuck it in the cage to remove the sediment from the bottom. Just then the phone rang. She turned to pick it up and had barely said hello when "ssopp!” Chippie got sucked in!
As you can imagine, the bird owner gasped, dropped the phone, turned off the vacuum, and ripped open the bag. Inside, there lay Chippie, still alive but stunned by the trauma. The bird was covered with all the terrible grit and grime that fills vacuum bags, so the owner did the only thing she could think to do. She grabbed him up, raced to the bathroom, turned on the faucet, and held Chippie under running water. Then realizing poor little Chippie was soaked and shivering, she did what any good bird owner would do, and she reached for the hair dryer and blasted the little guy with hot air. Poor Chippie never knew what hit him.
A couple of days after the experience the reporter who first wrote about the event talked to Chippie’s owner. He asked how the bird was doing. She said, "Well Chippie doesn’t sing much anymore -- he just sits and stares.” It’s no wonder. One minute the little guy was swinging and singing, and before he knew it, he was sucked in, washed up, and blown over. If that doesn’t turn your song into a blank stare, nothing will. (From Max Lucado, In The Eye Of The Storm, p. 11)
My guess is, most of us can relate to Chippie. There are times when life treats us more harshly than we expect. It might be something as small as a cutting remark from someone we consider a friend, or it could be something as major as the death of a spouse. It might be hearing the word “malignant” from the lips of a doctor, or it could be the collapse of a business that you’ve invested your life in. It’s possible to get battered, bruised, and blown away by rough times and difficult circumstances. When those things happen often the best we can muster is a blank stare, and our song sometimes seems like a distant memory.
Subject. The Other Side (Text: Luke 8:22-23) read again
You know, when I read through a passage like that, I can’t help but ask a question. “Why does God allow storms in our life?” I mean, think about it a minute. If He is all-powerful, couldn’t God make our life smooth sailing if He wanted to? Wouldn’t it be nice if He cut out all the storms and simply made the seas that we sail on as smooth as glass? It seems like life would be much better if we didn’t have to go through rough times, but I’m guessing God has His reasons.
I’m sure most of you just like me … have learned a little bit more than you wanted to know about storms this week. Considering the aftermath of what those horizontal winds caused to the city of Memphis. Truth be told … before Tuesday, I did not even know that there was such a thing as horizontal winds. I woke Tuesday Morning and looked out of the window into the backyard and I told Wanda … this storm reminds me of a hurricane. Sounds pretty bad, but ... did you know that hurricanes are important to maintaining the balance of the earth’s ecosystem? If you have been blessed to not have to live through such a horrific event, I’m sure that you have no doubt seen on TV the devastation that hurricanes cause especially along the coasts. We might not realize or even appreciate it when the winds are raging … but did you realize that those storms serve a very important purpose? They dissipate a large percentage of the tremendous heat that builds up at the equator across the globe. Not only that, but they are indirectly responsible for much of the rainfall in North and South America. For a while meteorologists experimented with cloud-seeding techniques to prevent hurricanes from forming, but they quit because they came to recognize that in the big picture hurricanes actually do more good than harm.