Thursday, April 20, 2017

don't abandon ship


And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him
And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. 
And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.

Sometimes we follow Him and the waves cover us and no matter that He neither slumbers nor sleeps now, to all appearances He is sleeping and we come to Him begging to be saved. We followed Him here, and most of us have absorbed enough of the prosperity gospel that those waves make us question a whole lot.

Did we see Him get into this ship? Were we supposed to follow Him here? Did He get off and we didn't notice? Is this punishment for something? What should we have done differently? 
WHY IS THERE A STORM KILLING US???

It wasn't supposed to happen like this, and now all we can do is scream for help. When we remember to do so. {And honestly...how long did these sailors watch the storm come up and start flooding their boat before they finally were freaked out enough to remember the Carpenter's Son currently sleeping through the storm might be able to do something more than they were accomplishing at the moment?} The disciples finally asked for his help.

And what does He say? 
WHY ARE YOU AFRAID?
They probably looked the storm and the water and the thought of drowning and...???WHY DO YOU THINK WE'RE AFRAID???

But look at the difference between the men cast into the fiery furnace and these caught in the storm. We are not careful to answer thee, O king. They did not second-guess their decision to follow Him, though it be into the flames themselves. They knew they were in obedience, they knew the choice before them, and they answered with assurance, even as they were bound and marched to a fire seven times hot enough to kill them.

I guess I can't say this for sure, but I'm betting by the time that calm came, the disciples were pretty wet. 
You know who didn't even smell like smoke? Who entered the fire and walked out unscathed? Men whose faith in their God was unshakeable. These men had already seen those of their rank and number slaughtered for disobedience. They had no illusions about what this king would do. These men had lost their families, their friends, their entire country and been dragged to this place as slaves. They were not depending on a magic get-out-of-jail-free card from the One they served. They knew full well what obedience might cost them, and still they answered fearlessly. 

But you know, Jesus was there with both of them. Maybe He had to point out the fear and faithlessness of the 12. Maybe they reached the shore dripping wet and uncomfortable in more ways than one. But Jesus did not leave them there. He gave them the calm they so desperately needed, and He kept them at His side, teaching them, showing them, helping them understand, until they too could answer fearlessly.

I have a lot of moments where I am like the 12. But I want to be like the 3. I want to make the enemy rage and I want to give God all the glory. I want to walk the path set before me without fear. 
I don't know how long it will take me to reach that point. 
But I am glad that no matter how long, He remains with me, and He will answer when I call.

a school/church near where I'm living

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