October 27, 2009
Storms are those times when the waves crash over us and the winds threaten to blow us overboard, never to be seen or heard from again.
They come in lots of forms, but one thing is for sure: EVERYBODY has storms! Financial storms. Relational storms. Physical health storms. Emotional storms. Sometimes they are predictable, but more often than not they catch us by surprise.
We tend to think of storms as bad. And they are painful, no question. But it is in the storm that we see what is bigger… what is most powerful. Or should I say “Who” is.
When Jesus sent his disciples into the storm (Mark 4), He was deliberately sending them into a situation that would challenge their previous understanding of power. He slept while his followers struggled to row toward shore, all the while hanging on for dear life in the teeth of a monsoon. Finally, they shook Him awake, scolding Him for not caring about them. He calmed the storm and asked them why they still had no belief in Him. Their response? They were terrified that their leader had such power. They were so disoriented by the whole deal that they had to think things through in a brand new way.
Mark Batterson contends that Jesus must DISORIENT us so He can REORIENT us. I agree. Jesus must force us through circumstances that get us out of “whack” so that He can align us with what is true. The disciples believed that the devil controlled the sea; Jesus had to show them that He did. The disciples believed the storm was going to kill them; Jesus had to show them nothing could even hurt them unless He allowed it. The disciples believed that Jesus did not care about them; Jesus had to show them He did even IN the middle of the fiercest storm.
Truth is every storm we go through is a gift for future storms. Every time we come through one, having been disoriented enough to be reoriented to Jesus’ truth, we are more capable to handle an even bigger storm. And, believe me, they WILL come. If we never went through storms and discovered that we can survive and thrive, the mildest wind would destroy us.
So let’s not bemoan the storms that come, let’s look for the reorientation that is a gift from Jesus.
(To listen to Herb via the internet go to http://www.newsongpittsburgh.org/sermons.htm )