Last night I taught from the book of Mark -- Jesus Calms the Storm (Mark 4:35-41). I love this story. It does not get old to me. I taught it last winter to our morning women’s Bible study, so this was a redo for me at our evening women’s study, but God gave me fresh insight – insight in to some of my own issues. I appreciate that about God. He does not tire of showing us more about Himself and about ourselves, again and again. He is so creative!
In the story, a “furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped” (vs.37). Sound familiar? I’ve had my fair share of storms, and much like the disciples appear to do, I panic. I don’t know for sure, but I suspect that they were trying to manage the storm before they woke up Jesus. Perhaps with buckets, they bailed and bailed and bailed. Finally, beyond frustration, they were now fearful. They woke Jesus, saying, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” (vs. 38).
You see, what I realize about myself yesterday (and today and probably tomorrow), is that in the storms of life -- whether momentary and light or torrential, chaotic and long lasting – I tend to grab for my bucket. I pick it up and I start to bail. I try to get myself out of the situation. I try to take things in to my own hands and bucket full after bucket full, I frantically try to figure out the storm, manage the storm, and clear out the storm in order to stay afloat. I hold on to my little bucket, in my little boat, trying to understand what is going on, solve the problems, and fix it. Sometimes, I even accuse Jesus of not caring!
BUT – I’m stepping away from the bucket.
I am going to be more intentional.
I’m not going to panic; I’m going to pray.
I’m not going to fear; I’m going to have faith.
I’m not going to bail; I’m going to believe.
I’m not going to doubt; I’m going to decide to trust the Lord.
I know it’s not going to be easy. Old habits die hard. I will admit, I’m getting a little better at it (God is working with me on this!), but from time to time, I find that I still get weary and worn out from worrying and trying to do it my way. Bailing is exhausting, and it only leads to more problems, more fear, more panic.
I am in need of the Lord’s help, that’s for sure, but you know what I’ve noticed? When I stop bailing and call out to Him, He starts filling – filling me with what He wants me to know about Him – His power, His presence, His promises and His purposes.
I’m going to remember Who is in the boat with me, and trust Him for every detail. I’m going to step away from the bucket and step towards Jesus, grabbing hold of Him and resisting the temptation to grab a hold of my own ways. And when I do – I just know I’ll find that He’s been holding on to me all along, ready to comfort, guide and give me peace.
* How about you?
* How about you?