storm

boat

Back a number of years ago the girls and I were in Sarnia. One of them was training to be a lifeguard and I went to a movie with the other one. Bonita was at a meeting with a number of other people at our house. It was a February night and the snow started to blow and this white-knuckled driver took it pretty slow. I could see very little that night and both of the girls were keeping their eyes on the yellow line.

‘More left, Dad.’

‘More right, Dad.’

‘Keep it steady, Dad.’

That twenty minute drive took about forty. I was never so glad to get home. I’ve seen a few winter storms in my lifetime but I have no stunned clue what a storm on a sea might be like. It would likely have been a whole lot worse.

[35] On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” [36] And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. [37] And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. [38] But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” [39] And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. [40] He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” [41] And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” (Mark 4:35-41 ESV)

From what I understand this sea was in a pretty unique spot and things could be clear as glass one minute and rockin’ and rollin’ the next. Some do not brave the Sea of Galilee because they want to stay out of harm’s way.

So Jesus was sleeping and the disciples were freaking…they thought they were gonna die. So the King of universe commands the weather to simmer down and in less than a nano-second things get quiet…it was like He flipped a switch…and that’s around the time that they got really scarred. They were coming to terms with the Creator of the creation. Their fright didn’t leave them, it intensified. They came to terms with the fact that Jesus was the One at the steering wheel of the storm. When we get a better glimpse at the Almighty, we will turn and take a better look at ourselves.

After Job had seen God more accurately He saw himself more accurately.

[5] I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear,
but now my eye sees you;
[6] therefore I despise myself,
and repent in dust and ashes.”
(Job 42:5-6 ESV)

After Isaiah came in contact with Creator, he came to terms with his creatureliness.

[5] And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!”
(Isaiah 6:5 ESV)

After Peter got skunked after a night at sea and Jesus showed Him that He was even sovereign over the sea, he came to a little better grips of His power and his own puniness.

[8] But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” (Luke 5:8 ESV)

The deal is this: sinful people are not comfy in the midst of the holy…because they see their lack of holiness. That was true of Job and Isaiah and Peter and the rest of the disciples.

I guess there’s at least a few questions that can flow from this passage. Does our time with Lord, in prayer, in Bible study, under the preaching of the Word, give us a bigger glimpse of Who He is? Do we come to terms with His greatness and our smallness? His holiness and our wretchedness? His majesty and our shabby selves? I’ve read R.C. Sproul and heard him preach on the holiness of God and each time I am more amazed at God’s greatness and my own lower-than-a-rattlesnakes-bellyness. I come to terms a little better each time with His greatness and my minuteness.

Ray Ortlund has written ‘Too many of our churches get together every Sunday, week after week, and the people are nice and the music is nice and the preaching is nice, but they never expect the Lord to be obviously involved.’ They obviously see God as nice.

I don’t want to settle for a nice God. I want to want the God of the Bible who demands my time, my talent, my treasure to serve Him and to make Him look glorious (not that He needs my help!) I want to better surrender and better repent. I want more of the holy God of the Bible who left men quaking in their boots…and should leave me quaking in mine. I want the glorious gospel to regularly rattle me about reverencing Him.

 

 

 

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