Did you know there are 12 (TWELVE !) documented types of storms? I found these while doing my research for this devotional teaching and quite frankly, amazed at the list. Each carry similar qualities, yet hold very unique elements.
The list consists of ice, blizzard, snow, fire, dust, gale, wind, squall, (breathe) thunder, cyclone, hail and tornado. Phew, it tires me just to type them out and consider their effects on us. One thing is sure regarding a storm … ‘we’ are not in control. All we can do is head for shelter and hang on!
I take us to Mark chapter 4. In this story Jesus gathers the disciples and tells them “Let us go over to the other side.” (v. 35) Simple statement, so in the boat they go on the Sea of Galilee. Seemingly a normal journey across, yet a storm comes up, not just a bit of rain, or a slight gust of wind, but the narrative says, a ‘furious squall.’ High winds full of turbulent power, with brutal waves fierce enough to cause the boat to rock with such force, the disciples were … terrified. A storm. recognize the reaction to the elements swirling around you? Insecurity. Fear. Panic.
May we stop and consider who was in this boat. Of the disciples, Peter, Andrew, James and John were all fishermen, seasoned men of the sea. These men knew how to handle a boat. Nevertheless, they too were afraid. One might say (namely me) ‘even the pros get tossed to and fro.’ There is sad comfort in that, no one is exempt from the storms. No matter how well educated, wealthy, pretty, even prepared, there WILL be moments the elements rise and we have a response.
Imagine if you will, how LOUD this storm was, the wind howling, the piercing squeal in your ears. Feel also the tossing of the boat, those of us prone to sea sickness, well… we won’t go there! In this, Jesus is asleep in the back of the boat. He wasn’t concerned of the danger out on the water, He could simply walk home (smile). The disciples cry out to Him, awake Him. HERE is my favorite part, 3 often over looked words, yet so stinkingly powerful. “He got up.” Jesus stood up. Nothing like Jesus going to His feet. Sure, some would say, ‘don’t get so dramatic.’ Have they read … Psalms 68:1 “Let God arise, let His enemies be scattered…” It can be a scary thing to have God Almighty come to His feet. The seriousness of it. Jesus could have just waved His hand from where He laid, and with a yawn, hush the wind. But He didn’t, He got up! It says, He rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be Still!” Folks, THIS is good stuff!
I want, NEED Jesus to arise in my boat, in the midst of MY storm. How about YOU? Are you too found in a storm of great proportions? Whether it be a storm of frigid cold, drowning seas, agitating dust, so thick we are temporarily blinded. How about heat so hot, it has it’s own atmospheric climate. Oh, let God arise! Speak Lord Jesus (harshly if needed) to the elements around us!
May we please remember Jesus’ opening words to the disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” The other side. He would not have pointed to the other side if they were meant to DIE in the middle of the sea, in the middle of the journey. “US” … we are never meant to be in the storm alone. Jesus, in the boat, in the storm WITH them, to the other side.
I must add … most folks think the Bible is full of lists of ‘no-nos’, and plenty of ‘thou shalts’. I on the other hand, find it so extremely humorous at times. One example is where God chooses to place certain events.
Immediately following the sea session, they come ashore in the region of Gerasenes. Undoubtedly, a few of those in the boat would have LOVED to kiss the ground, HOWEVER… just after their lives are threaten with violent winds, raging waters what do they NOW encounter? A demoniac man! “Really? Give me a break!” My imagination speaks loud as I can hear one of the disciples cry out!
How humorous! God takes them from one faith needing, trust Me, depend on Me to defend you moment … to … the demonic. AND the dude is naked! Ok, now I am laughing with divine doubling over.
Note to self: as I find the storm around me beginning to calm, cover my eyes and seek another location down the shore to drop anchor! (Just kidding) This storm … THIS aint nothing! This journey is continual. “New level, new devil.” DO NOT hang up your Jesus life preserver just yet!
He got up. Let God arise!
In Him, DeDe (‘Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love & good deeds” ~ Heb. 10:24)
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