A Message of Peace in the Storm of Panic
Do you remember when I taught that storms are a necessary part of life? We learned that we are always in one of three positions: Headed into a storm, in the midst of a storm, or coming out of the storm. There is little doubt where we are today – we are smack in the middle of the storm.
These are certainly challenging times for the world. It seems that no one is completely untouched by the storms of the Coronavirus. The world has come to a screeching stand still in so many ways, and that has brought out both the worst and best of humanity. Even my team is Ghana is affected by this virus. That country has shut down and is following the same social demands that have been placed upon us. Please pray for these choice servants of the Lord as they seek to minister and love the people around them who have such great needs.
While we are in the midst of this storm, that I believe will rage on at least through the end of the Summer months, what lessons can we learn from the Word of God. There are at least two stories of Jesus and the storms recorded in the Bible more than once. These two stories detail our responsibility in the midst of storms.
In Mark 4 we have a story of Jesus after full days of ministry and power getting into a boat with his disciples are going across the sea of Galilee to “the other side.” The bible tells us that a great storm with wind – a gale even was building on the sea and while the disciples were very anxious, but Jesus was asleep. At their point of despair, they awoke Jesus and cried out, “Teacher do you care that we are perishing?” Jesus got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still.” And the wind died down and [a]it became perfectly calm. And He said to them, “Why are you [b]afraid? Do you still have no faith?” Lesson to remember, He is with us and He cares for us!
In Mark 6:45-52 we have the familiar story of Jesus walking on the water to the disciples in the midst of another storm on the sea. This had come on the end of the feeding of the 5,000 and Jesus sending the disciples across the lake while he went to the mountain to pray. Everyone had witnessed this impressive miracle of God, but it appears that only Jesus was living in gratitude by praying. In the darkest part of the night a great storm arose on the sea and the boat was about to sink when this team of disciples, looks out and sees Jesus walking on the water, but they do not even recognize them. Jesus spoke these wonderful words to him. “Take Courage; it is I, do not be afraid.” And he got into the boat and the storms stopped. Lesson: He sees us, and is the provision for us.
There are at least two lessons here, I want you to remember. In the first story Jesus was with them in the boat and he took control. In the second story, Jesus is watching them, but he came to them and calmed the storm. The lesson is that no storm ever catches God off-guard. I cannot tell you much, but I know that none of this caught God by surprise. Lesson #1 Stay faithful and stay focused. Notice the words of Jesus to His disciples in both stories, he gave words of hope, encouragement, action, and faith. I think all of us have a great opportunity now to add a fourth “G” to our vocabulary and that is the word Gentleness. Jesus taught us that we must have Peace DESPITE the Storm. Jesus was clear, encouraging, and direct. I hope you will see this as a wonderful time to Plan rather than Panic, The disciples were in a storm of Panic, but Jesus gave them a Message of Peace. Let’s us to the same and remember, Give hope, encouragement, and consistency in your message to your teams and your students and remember This too will pass!