Summary: To join Jesus in His mission, you must get in the boat. That doesn’t guarantee you will be free from storms, but Christ will see you through to the other side.
The Storms of Discipleship
The 200-year-old church was being readied for an anniversary celebration when calamity struck: the bell ringer was called out of town. The church immediately advertised for another. When the replacement arrived, the Pastor took him to the steps leading to the bell tower, some 150 feet above them. Round and round they went, huffing and puffing all the way. Just as they reached the landing, the person applying for the job of ‘bell ringer’ tripped and fell face-first into the biggest bell of all.
Dazed by the blow, the bell ringer stumbled backward onto the landing. The railing broke loose and he fell to the ground. Miraculously, he was unhurt—only stunned—but the Pastor thought it best to call an ambulance.
“Do you know this man’s name?” asked the paramedic when he arrived.
“No,” the Pastor replied, “I’m sorry. He never told me his name. But his face sure rings a bell.”
Sometimes we can feel a little like that bell ringer. No matter how hard we try, we always seem to fall face first into another problem. Life just keeps coming at us, and the ringing never stops in our ears. We ask ourselves, “Is this what Jesus meant by the abundant life?” We may feel like life is passing us by, or that we are caught up in a whirlwind with no promise of escape.
Though I am not a great fan of country music, it does seem to sum up the realities of life in ways that other music can’t. Take for example on of Kenny Chesney’s songs and music videos titled; “There goes my life”
“There Goes My Life…” Is a ballad that focuses on the life of two young kids in high school that find themselves caught in a storm created by their own decision to have sex out of marriage.
The video pictures a scene of this young couple standing in the entry way of a football stadium, where the young lady explains to her boyfriend that she has found out that she is pregnant. He, in disbelief begins to reflect, rubbing his hand through his hair, walking off, sitting alone in the locker room over a decision that was made in an unguarded moment of passion.
All he can see are his dreams going up in smoke. He sings the refrain of the song:
“What will I do in this time when all my plans are gone? There goes my life, there goes my future - my everything - might as well kiss it all good by, there goes my life.”
As the video and the song continue we now see him reflecting on the life of this little child born out of wedlock. A couple of years have passed, and the mistake he’d made now covers the refrigerator door with pictures colored by a child’s hand. He loves that little girl, as she walks up the stairs to bed, she says, “I love you daddy, goodnight,” and he responds, “There goes my life, there goes my future.”
The song concludes when this same little girl standing in the doorway of their home, saying goodbye as she’s off to the coast for college, and he stands in the window waving goodbye, singing, “There goes my life, there goes my future.”
The very thing that causes us grief and stress today, the storm that we may be passing through in this moment, may in God’s grace turn out to be the doorway to a new world, a new hope, a new dawn. We must never forget that Jesus is always with us, and that He has a plan for our lives. That plan can often include storms, as the disciples found out in Matthew 8:23-27.
Where is your life today? Where is your future? Is it with Jesus? Have you made the decision to follow Him, no matter what the cost? If so, then you must be prepared.
Theme: My life is in Jesus, and he may take me into a storm.
And when He got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?”
1. The disciples counted the cost and joined Jesus in His mission.
Look again at verse 23:
And when He got into the boat, his disciples followed him.