Summary: The size of the personal storms in life are influenced by the size of one’s faith. Great faith makes large storms seem small, and small faith makes little storms larger.
THE SIZE OF THE STORM
THEME: THE SIZE OF THE STORM IS CONNECTED TO THE SIZE OF YOUR FAITH.
Life has been a little stressful recently. Nothing major, it is just a bunch of stuff that adds stress to my life. Most of you know that Charity has been having some health problems related to having baby Noah. This is not earth shaking medical problems, but we do not like them and wish it would all go away. Also, my parents have been having some marriage problems, so I have been worried about that. It is stressful to see people that you love hurting in life.
If you are like me, you are always dealing with stress and some difficult circumstances. Maybe you are dealing with health issues, parenting issues, marital issues, and money issues. There are always issues that cause stress and tension on our lives. Some of you are going through some major problems. Not the little annoyance stuff, but the big life change stuff. Someone has once said that you are going into conflict or coming out of conflict. The amount of stuff that seems to affect us is endless. Maybe it is a child going away to school, or a mother that is giving you problems in the class room. Whatever it is, I know it is affecting you. And if you are like me, you just want it to go away. There are always the storms of life that are affecting us. The stuff that makes you turns in your bed. The stuff that makes you afraid of the future and the stuff that makes you question where God is in all of this difficult stuff you have to deal with. Personally, I am tired of storms, I just like calm days. Maybe you can relate to me. Probably, you understand what I am talking about. You know, dealing with the stress in life.
Maybe you can relate to Joe. His story starts with four guys deciding to go mountain climbing one weekend. In the middle of the climb, Joe slipped over a cliff, dropped about sixty feet and landed with a thud on the ledge below. The other three, hoping to rescue him, yelled, “Joe, are you OK?” “I’m alive…but I thin I broke both my arms!” “We’ll toss a rope down to you and pull you up. Just lie still!” said the three. “fine,” answered Joe. A couple of minutes after dropping once end of the rope, they started tugging and grunting together, working feverishly to pull their wounded companion to safety. When they had him about three-fourths of the way up, they suddenly remembered he said he had broken both his arms. “Joe, if you broke both your arms, how in the world are you hanging on?” Joe responded, “With my teeeeeeth…” Sometimes in life we are hanging on to life with our teeth.
Fortunately, we are not the first group of people to struggle with this problem. We have an example in the Bible with the disciple dealing with the literal storms of life. We read of this in Mark 8:23-27 “And when He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him. And behold, there arose a great storm in the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves; but He Himself was asleep. And they came to Him, and awoke Him, saying, "Save us, Lord; we are perishing!" And He said to them, "Why are you timid, you men of little faith?" Then He arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and it became perfectly calm. And the men marveled, saying, "What kind of a man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?" This indicates the attitude that we must have towards trials. There is a great contrast in these verses that teach us a valuable lesson for life.
In Marks account of this story, Jesus has told the disciples that they are going to the other side. So the disciples get into the boat, but while they are traveling, a huge storm arises. Most of these men are fishermen, so they are not inexperienced when it comes to the ocean. They have seen storms before and probably have been in a few storms in the past. The disciples become afraid and worried for their safety. The disciples are worried for their life. But look at Jesus in verse 24, the text says that he is sleeping. This is not just a small detail in the story. The ability to sleep during trouble was a sign of faith in God. Psalm 4:8 “In peace I will both lie down and sleep, For Thou alone, O LORD, dost make me to dwell in safety.”
Maybe you have problems sleeping during the storms of life too. I know, I do. I remember one Wednesday night, it was after the services were over. I got talking with one of the elders at a congregation I was servicing with. We got discussing taking a day off, because I had to work on Saturday, and in the contract I was allowed to do this. But instead of the elder saying it was o.k. He got upset with me. He started to call me a time puncher. He told me that I really did not love the work of the congregation because I wanted to take a day off. I was shocked and upset. This elders already was mad at me, because the week before he accused me of being a false teacher, and maybe he was still mad at me or simply was out to get me. I went home that night, and turned and tossed in my bed for hours. I do not believe that I got an ounce of sleep. I was so worried that he was going to get me fired. I was so worried that everything I worked towards would be ruined because he would destroy my name in the church. I certainly did not want to lose my job. I wanted to fix the problem, but I did not know how. This is only one of the many sleepless nights that I have had in my life. You can probably relate to me. You have turned in your beds. You have cried at night. You have thought and thought and the problems have not gone away. You have worried all night, and really you could do nothing about the problem.