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December 2, 2013, 11:30 AM

White Knuckle Ride

Revisit with me a topic from two weeks ago (11/17 - sermon audio on this site).  Lets talk about riding out the storm.  In Mark 4: 35 - 41, Jesus and his closest friends hop in a boat to "go to the other side of the lake."  Jesus himself declares that this trip will take them to the other side.  Read into this with me, reader:  HE TELLS THEM THEY WILL MAKE IT TO THE OTHER SIDE.  This is the word of God being declared in all authority, truth, and confidence.  "Gentlemen, we are going to land over there... but before then, I'm taking a nap."  Jesus takes a cushion with him, because he knows that the trip is going to be a success.  Let me be clear, THEY WERE GOING TO MAKE IT ACROSS!!!  There should be no confusion about what was going to transpire, which was a departure and landing of an intact boat with all its passengers. 

Enter the storm.  Boom.  Crash.  Flash. Gust.  Whoosh.  Splash.  

Exit any and all confidence, faith, belief, and trust in Jesus. 

The storm took away all ability for solid believers to apply what they learned in the sun to times in the storm.  Imagine a different scenario with me:  What would the ride have looked like if they accurately heard and interpreted Jesus' statement that they would make it to the other side and trusted in the fact that the Son of God was riding along with them?!  

The storm would have turned into a roller coaster ride and not a ride to certain death!  Sure they would have had white knuckles as they gripped the sides of the boat and held on for dear life.  But the confidence they had in the presence of Jesus would have turned terror into thrill. I'm betting Peter would have been screaming his lungs out AT the storm:  "Is that all you got?!"  Thomas would have been in the back saying: "I cant believe that guy..." and shaking his head disapprovingly.  The others would not have been as vocal, but I'm sure they would have been slapping each other on the back and yelling:  "That was a big one!!!" when the boat pitched and yawed.  Yes, this ride would have been scary and exhilarating and looked all together different with a small bit of belief.  

Lets apply this:  the storm is coming.  Maybe its already here.  Cancer stinks.  Divorce stinks.  Death stinks.  Finances in general stink.  Health Insurance (or lack thereof) stinks.  Watching a child rebel stinks. Walking into a dead end job morning after morning stinks.  Being sick stinks.  Homework stinks.  Dieting stinks.  Mortality and our failing physical bodies stink.  

The storm is here in all its glory and ferocity, and its called "Life."  Here's the challenge and question:  Are you holding on, white knuckled, eyes wide, mouth open KNOWING you are going to make it to the other side?  OR are you throwing your hands up in despair because the storm has masked all those sermons, online devotionals in your email inbox, and the truth of living a life in Christ spent mostly in the sunshine?  

Its not an easy ride, nor am I discounting the garbage this broken and fallen world has thrown at you.  But Jesus is right there in the boat with you.  He wont always calm the storm, but he's in the boat with you.  He has compassion and mercy to spare.  He has a promise hanging over us; the promise of eternity of a new Heaven and a new Earth.  Its a trip getting there, and its gonna look a whole lot like we're in the tiny, under-equipped boat that leaks... but we're going to make it to the other side.  Just hold on, keep your eyes open, and let out a scream or two along the way.  


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