Summary: God will help us face the storms of life and overcome our doubt and fear. He does care and is aware. God is not sleeping on the job!
While You Were Sleeping
Mark 4:35-41 35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, "Let us go over to the other side." 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 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?" 39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. 40 He said to his disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?" 41 They were terrified and asked each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!"
Intro: Things are not always as they appear, are they? Have you ever been 100% sure of something, so certain that you would swear on the graves of all your ancestors, only to find out in just seconds that you had been missing a BIG part of the picture? I have shared this story before, but thought it worth repeating as a rough poem.
-About 20 years ago while we were pastoring in North Dakota, I was working on a construction crew, helping build a bridge. We did concrete work, set forms, wired rebar in place, and so on. Well, ND may be cold in the winter, but it can get really hot in the summer, easily surpassing 100 degrees at times.
-My wife used to cut up watermelon and cantaloupe and put them in square Tupperware containers and freeze them. I would take them in my lunchbox and by break time, the fruit would be thawed, but still be very cold, juicy, and refreshing. Well, one day I had an unforgettable experience. This experience was so memorable to me that I put it down in the form of a poem. So if you will indulge me, I am going to read some poetry about mixed fruit.
'Twas a typical work day as I packed my lunch,
I inhaled my toast and some Cap'n Crunch.
I guzzled my coffee, then kissed my honey,
Then off to the bridge to make some money.
The boss worked us hard in that mid-morning sun
I was glistening with labor and I wished I was done,
The minutes dragged by and the boss was a brute
But my heart was set on my fresh bowl of fruit.
As break time drew nearer, intense was the heat,
I could picture that fruit so juicy and sweet,
When the boss yelled, "It's break time," I let out a hoot,
And ran for my lunchbox in search of that fruit.
As I opened my lunch, prepared for a treat,
I thought of the fruit so juicy and sweet,
With fork poised for action, not a moment to waste
I opened that fruit bowl its morsels to taste.
Then what did my wondering eyes chance to greet
But a big juicy lump of raw hamburger meat.
With a cautious side glance I put it away.
I guess I don't get my sweet melon today.
Now as I look back on this humorous scene,
I search for a moral, a lesson to glean,
And all I can find from lack of another
Is don't judge what's inside by its plastic cover.
-So, sometimes we are pretty sure we know something, but with a little change of perspective, reality changes before our eyes. Sometimes we might start to think that God does not see us and does not know what we are going through. Or, maybe we think He is asleep on the job. Sometimes we might even think that He does not care that we are on our last leg and are about ready to be drowned by our circumstances.
-We may think we know what is in the container, but unlike my experience, we might think it is something bad, when indeed the Lord is working good into us through our trials and our storms! So we might even start to avoid God and the way He is working in our lives because, as we see it, He either wouldn’t or couldn’t keep problems away from us.
-Well, let’s take a moment to look at a few key points from this story we just read about the disciples of Jesus facing their storm. Hopefully, these thoughts will help us face our own storms in life. And that is the first point.
1. Storms of life will come.
-You can count on it! Trouble will find you, whether you are looking for it or not! Jesus promised His followers, “In this world you will have trouble.”