Summary: When the storms of life threaten to swamp our boat, we can choose fear or faith. With Jesus in the same boat with us, we can be sure we will make it to the other shore.
Have you ever had one of those days? Perhaps you can
identify with this fellow:
I am writing in response to your request for additional
information. In block number 3 of the accident reporting form, I put “Poor planning” as the cause of my accident. You said in your letter that I should explain more fully, and I trust that the following
details will be sufficient.
I am a bricklayer by trade. On the day of the accident, I was working alone on the roof of a ten-story building. When I completed my work, I discovered I had about 500 pounds of bricks left over.
Rather than carry them down by hand, I decided to lower
them to the ground in a barrel by using a pulley, which, fortunately, was attached to the side of the building at the tenth floor. Securing the rope at ground level, I went to the roof, loaded the 500 pounds of bricks, then went back down to the ground and untied the rope, holding it tightly to insure the slow descent of the 500 pounds of bricks. (You will note in block 11 of the accident reporting form that I
weigh 135 pounds.)
Due to my surprise at being jerked off the ground so
suddenly, I lost my presence of mind and forgot to let go of the rope. Needless to say, I proceeded at a rapid rate up the side of the building. In the vicinity of the fifth floor, I met the barrel coming down. This explains the fractured skull and broken collarbone.
I continued by rapid ascent, not stopping until the fingers of my right hand were two knuckles deep into the pulley. Fortunately, by this time I had regained my presence of mind and was able to hold tightly to
the rope in spite of my pain. At approximately the same
time, however, the barrel of bricks hit the ground, and the bottom fell out of the barrel. Devoid of the weight of the bricks, the barrel now weighed
approximately 30 pounds. I refer you again to my weight in block number 11 of the accident reporting form.
As you might imagine, I began a rapid descent down the side of the building. In the vicinity of the fifth floor, I met that barrel coming up again! This
accounts for the two fractured ankles and lacerations to of my legs and lower body. The second encounter with the barrel slowed me enough to lessen my injuries when I fell into the pile of bricks, and fortunately, only three vertebrae were cracked.
I am sorry to report, however, that as I lay there on the bricks – in pain and unable to stand – watching the empty barrel ten stories above me – I again lost my presence of mind – I LET GO OF THE ROPE.
Think you’ve got troubles?
Jesus’ disciples were having a great day. They had just finished a revival with Jesus. The crowds were eager to listen; the preaching was inspiring, many people had been healed. Now they were on their way across the lake with a regatta of companion vessels to another stop in their itinerary. The sea was smooth as glass; they were enjoying a few sea ditties and
smooth sailing, when all of a sudden, a furious wind kicked up.
Here’s how Mark tells the story in chapter 4, beginning
with verse 35: That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, "Let us go over to the other side."
Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as
he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with
him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, "Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?" He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still
have no faith?" They were terrified and asked each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!" They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. NIV
STORMS COME TO EVERYONE! They are a part of life. In
James 1:2 it says "When you face trials..." It does not say “If you face trials.” Count on it! You will face storms in life. They are inevitable. Jesus said
in John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have
trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” This is a BAD NEWS/GOOD NEWS kind of message -- The BAD NEWS IS you WILL have trouble. Jesus didn’t say you might have trouble, or you will only have trouble when you’re out of God’s will –– He said you WILL have trouble. The GOOD NEWS IS if you’re going through troubling times right now, YOU’RE GOING THROUGH trouble. You will get to the other side as long as