Summary: Regardless of the storm, you need to know something about the Lord: “The Storm He Sees.”
“The Storm He Sees”
In Florida we know about the devastation of storms – hurricanes, tornadoes, flash flooding – you name it – we have experienced it. With Charley, Frances, Ivan, Jeanne hitting the Florida coast last year and Dennis this year we have become more than aware of the destruction, danger and death such storms bring in their path. Likewise, there is a heightened awareness concerning the precaution and preparation one must make to endure and survive such storms when found in the midst of them.
In life as well, we each face many storms of equal or greater devastation. You may be in a storm right now in your heart; it might be the death of a love one, living with chronic pain, a recent divorce, estrangement from a son or daughter or financial disaster. Regardless of the storm, you need to know something about the Lord: “The Storm He Sees.” The seas that are raging in your heart, the Lord sees and understands. The Lord knows where you are; He knows what you are going through and what you are feeling. More importantly, the Lord cares about you personally. Listen as you read the Lord’s caring words in Isaiah 65:24, “I will answer them before they even call to me. While they are still talking to me about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers!
The Lord is a very present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1). He is the God of all comfort (2 Cor. 1:3). He is the great deliverer (Psalm 34:19); He is our strength and shield in the raging storms of life (Psalm 28:7). The Lord never said we would miss the storms of life. He said in this world you have tribulation (storms) but take courage, “I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) The Lord has a lot to say and teach us about the storms you are facing today or will in the future. The question is, “Are you willing to call and listen to Him?” Given these truths and I pray an open heart, read these words of God in Matthew 14:25-33. Here we find the disciples in a storm that threatens their very existence:
25. And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea. 26. When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, "It is a ghost!" And they cried out in fear. 27. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid." 28. Peter said to Him, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water." 29. And He said, "Come!" And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30. But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, "Lord, save me!" 31. Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, "You of little faith, why did you doubt?" 32. When they got into the boat, the wind stopped. 33. And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, "You are certainly God’s Son!"
Notice verse 25 says, “And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea. 26. When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, "It is a ghost!" And they cried out in fear. This passage tells us JESUS HEARS OUR CRIES IN THE STORM AND COMES TO US IN OUR DARKEST HOUR. He takes the initiative. Listen to the same account of this incident in the Gospel of Mark: “And after bidding them farewell, He departed to the mountain to pray. And when it was evening, the boat was in the midst of the sea, and He was alone on the land. And seeing them straining (harassed in rowing) at the oars, for the wind was against them, at about the fourth watch of the night, He came to them, walking on the sea; and He intended to pass by them. But when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed that it was a ghost, and cried out; for they all saw Him and were frightened. But immediately He spoke with them and said to them, “Take courage; it is I, do not be afraid.” (Mark 6:46-50)
The Gospel of Mark says Jesus was on the mountaintop interceding with The Father and he looks down and sees his disciples straining at the oars for the wind was against them. At the fourth watch, he came to them. What a picture this is of Our Lord today seated at the right hand of The Father interceding for us as our Advocate and High Priest (Mark 16:19). But the Gospel of Mark says that Jesus “intended to pass by them” Why? Why was Jesus intending to pass by his disciples in the midst of this desperate and deadly situation?