Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Calm in the Midst of the Storm


Rev. Roy A. Thomas
St. Thomas MTC of Delaware Valley, PA
24 They went to him and woke him up, shouting, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And he woke up and rebuked the wind and the raging waves; they ceased, and there was a calm. 25 He said to them, “Where is your faith?” They were afraid and amazed, and said to one another, “Who then is this, that he commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him?”

The Great Lakes Storm of 1913 historically has been referred to as the “Big Blow”, the “Freshwater Fury”, or the “White Hurricane”. It was a blizzard with hurricane-force winds that devastated the Great Lakes Basin. The deadliest and most destructive natural disaster ever to hit the lakes, the Great Lakes Storm killed more than 250 people, destroyed 19 ships, and stranded 19 others. The financial loss in vessels alone was nearly $119,310,000. While most of the ships caught in the open sea paid the ultimate price, there is a great story of seamanship and survival that centers on Captain S. A. Lyons. While Captain Lyons was fully aware that at any moment the massive waves of the ocean could come crashing down on his crew and wash them overboard, he brought calm to his crew as they stood waist deep in icy waters managing the ship’s engines and keep the vessel upright. Captain Lyons managed to turn his ship around three time on Lake Huron to position the ship against the crazed flurry of wind and rain and avoid crashing. Despite the gigantic waves and blinding snow, Captain Lyons and his crew fought the storm for four days before landing safely on the shore.

In Luke 8 we are reminded of a similar experience in the life of Jesus and his disciples. While the disciples set out to sea at the command of Jesus, they never could have imagined the furious storm that awaited them out in the open sea.  As the waves beat against their ship, and their vessel was tossed back and forth, the disciples were overwhelmed with fear and began to cry out for their Master. After Jesus rebuked the wind and calmed the seas, the disciples were “afraid and amazed, and said to one another, ‘Who then is this, that he commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him?’”

Our Christian journey is never free of storms. At one moment, our life can be peaceful and calm, but in the blink of an eye our life can be turned upside down. Tragedy can befall anyone at any time. Sickness and death may prance upon us without notice.  When the storms of life strike, they often appear insurmountable.  As human beings it is only normal for us to lose faith, and experience feelings of God falling asleep at the wheel. Even the Psalmist David cried out “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Do we permit ourselves to be vulnerable with God and openly express our doubt and raise our questions about God’s faithfulness? Are we able to openly approach Jesus in the midst of life’s storm and admit our feelings of insecurity and fear? Just as the disciples came to Jesus while struggling with their faith, our prayer should be “I believe, help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24)

God knows the secret thoughts of our hearts, and there is nothing, no doubt, no fear, no anxiety that God does not know about. When the storms of life strike, we must remember that as scary as the storm may appear, God is always with us in every situation. The Bible says that after the disciples cried out in fear, Jesus arose and rebuked the storm. Likewise, Jesus stands with us in our storms. Remember, that when we embark on the journey of life’s great sea, that with Christ in the vessel we can remain calm even in the midst of the storm. Many of us pray for the storm of life to pass, and experience peace only after the God removes the storm. However, Jesus challenges us to experience calm even before the storm subsides. “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.” (John 20:29) Can we express faith even in the midst of the storm? God, who is with us, will not only stand with us but also help us journey through the storms of life. Having faith in what God will do, should bring us peace and calm even before the storm is over.


PRAYER


Dear Lord, No matter what the season we find that we are in, You are there to lead us and give us hope within. Amen

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
When the storms of life come upon us, keep calm and move on.