Holding Firm

Do we stay in Miami? Should we try to get as far away as possible? Will we have anything left when the storm hits? I’ve had scores of conversations like this in the last four days. Storms bring uncertainty, fear, and feelings of powerlessness. As human beings, we don’t like feeling vulnerable, or like we are losing control. We become anxious, unsettled. It is natural. Even our golden-doodle senses something is wrong. She’s been agitated for days.

In the ancient world, storms were signs of chaos, the fact that human beings ultimately are helpless. The wind and the waves were greatly feared. There was nothing that could be done in the face of the storm. We know this. That’s the explanation for the scores of times you’ve checked the weather forecast and looked at the storm track this week. Where is it going? How strong is it now?

This being true about storms, I am amazed at how often Jesus led his disciples into situations where they would encounter them. Why purposely put them in harm’s way? Why cause them to doubt your love? But, this is exactly what Jesus did. At one point, after He sent them across the Sea of Galilee during a gale that put their lives at risk, they said to him:

Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing? Mark 4:38ESV

Perhaps, you have said something like this to Jesus: “Lord, do you care about us at all?” That is how we feel. What are we to do with these feelings?

Danforth anchor

Yesterday, Sandy and I found a restaurant that remained open. It was filled to capacity. We managed to get the last two seats in the house because a couple was willing to share their table.  The man was sunburned and tired. He’d been forced to remove their large boat from the slip they normally kept it in. Where could they take it? No spaces were available. He explained how he motored his boat into safe water. Then he set his anchor: one large Danforth (that’s a breed of anchor) weighing 90lbs with a run of 300 feet of heavy chain. The other end of the chain was fastened deep in the hull of the boat. Then he put out a second anchor almost as large as that one, to provide more security and added stability. He said, “Let the wind blow. I’m anchored. The boat might be pulled apart, but the anchor will be there, holding ground.” That really is our story.

Our lives will be as secure as the place where we are anchored.

That night as the storm threatened their boat and as they became afraid, Jesus was taking a nap. We are told:

…he [Jesus] was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. Mark 4:38ESV

Jesus slept while the storm raged because He is the Lord of the storm. He is our creator God. The wind and the waves are his. Think of an immense hurricane coming and Jesus using the time to catch up on sleep! When the disciples woke him up with their fears, we are told that he:

…rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Mark 4:39ESV

He spoke to the storm as a parent tells a child to calm down. The wind ceased blowing and there was great calm. What a moment this must have been for the disciples to see, to discover the identity of Jesus. He is Lord. What can they say at a moment like this?

And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even wind and sea obey him.” Mark 4:41ESV

That is who Jesus is. The Master of all of this. It’s not chaos, or uncontrolable. Now, Jesus doesn’t promise that nothing bad will ever happen to them. He doesn’t tell them that this will be the last of the storms they will see. But now, they know him. They know they have a secure place to anchor their lives. A place to look when they feel afraid, uncertain, and out of control. They can look to Jesus. This is why Jesus came and what He came to do: to save us from perishing.

I want to go see that man’s boat after the storm. But even more, I rejoice to see people whose lives are anchored to Christ when the storms come, to see the security and peace that Jesus provides. That is something to behold. Perhaps, that is the gift in the feelings of vulnerability that we have experienced this week. It is an opportunity to admit that life ultimately is beyond us, and to turn to Jesus.

So, I’ve set my anchor. I may fall apart, but the anchor will still be there holding ground.

 

 

 

 

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Mary Milian on September 9, 2017 at 9:36 pm

    AMEN! Thank you Worth. These are such important lessons to remember and share with others.

    Reply

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