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Summary: We are subject to nature and the forces of nature. Jesus the Omnipotent has power over nature and natural disasters.

Weekend Message/Devotion

June 24, 2018

Mark 4:35-41

The Threat Natural Forces

The threat of impending danger from natural forces lingers among us today. Yet, it was also a threat in Jesus’ day. As we look around us today, we see erupting and very devastating volcanos in Hawaii, rampaging wildfires in the west, tropical storms in the east and knowledge of hurricanes to come soon.

Some natural disasters are predictable by way of modern technology. So, we may have enough foreknowledge and time to prepare. Having firsthand knowledge and experience with hurricanes and tropical storms: Donna, Andrew, David, Irene, Mathew and others, I can say that preparation is important. I can also say that when it hits, and one is caught right in the path, no amount of preparation can mitigate the fear and hopelessness that comes with it.

In today’s reading Mark tells us that Jesus instructs the disciples, “Let us cross over to the other side”. (Vs 35) So, they join with other small boats and cast off. Suddenly a windstorm arose with such intensity that the small boats were being buffeted about and even taking on water. That would cause almost anyone to panic to some degree, it sure would me. The reading says that Jesus was fast asleep in the stern of the boat and was not awakened by the storm but by the fellow passengers in the boat. Verse 38: “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” They were in fear for their lives. They were left with very little means of protection, if any. Now, how did Jesus respond to their plight?

(Verse 39-40) “Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”

(Verse 41) “And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, ‘Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!’”

Have you ever been so afraid or terrified that you thought you were in danger of not surviving? Have you ever been chased or stalked by a snarling vicious dog?

Ever had the wind knocked out of you? Been lost in a true wilderness and didn’t know if you would be rescued?

Most of us have stories to tell. By God’s grace and mercy, we are here to share those stories, as were Jesus’ disciples.

These guys were rebuked for their lack of faith. Are we deserving of that same rebuke? They had seen Jesus performing miracles time and time again, from calling out demons to healing the blind. We can either read and believe in the same Jesus or we can cower in lack of faith.

Jesus is God the Son! We either believe that or we don’t. There isn’t any middle ground. We remember Peter walking on water and being overtaken by a lack of faith, having to call out to Jesus to save him.

Don’t you think that Jesus the Omniscient knew that this storm was brewing? We cannot possibly have all the answers, but He does. I wonder if (always a BIG IF) if they had gathered on the shore and prayed for a safe journey, would the outcome have been different.

It’s a good practice that many of us exercise at the start of any trip.

It is a common occurrence in the straits between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic to discover the drownings of some who try to reach Puerto Rico in search of a better life. They try and navigate the waters in very small fishing boats called a yola – pronounced jola. When I read Mark’s account of these small boats in a storm, the very vivid recollection of immigrants trying to cross the straits between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico and perishing at sea immediately came to mind.

We are susceptible to natural forces, dangers and even calculated dangers every day. Having faith in the One who has power and control over the natural forces of the world, provides us with that peace that passeth all understanding. Just because HE has the power doesn’t mean that we have a free pass. It means that we can have Faith that He will be with us and respond to our prayers according to the will of God. He is our God and we are His creation. He is not bound by our pleas but rather we are bound by His will.

Let us pray -

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