Thursday, July 24, 2014

Excitement in the boat: The big storm. Part 3

Now on one of those days Jesus and His disciples got into a boat, and He said to them, "Let us go over to the other side of the lake." So they launched out. But as they were sailing along He fell asleep; and a fierce gale of wind descended on the lake, and they began to be swamped and to be in danger. (Luke 8:22-23 NASB)

Sometimes we forget that Jesus was both divine and human. He had human needs like food, water, and sleep. He didn't have much time for sleep, it seems, for he was indefatigable in ministry, but the boat ride across the Sea of Galilee seemed like a good time for a quick nap. Do not forget that he was in the company of experienced and professional fishermen who had spent most of the lives in boats on that very Sea. There was little on the water that they could not handle. 

It turned out that there was something they couldn't handle, however. A storm arose that was unlike anything to which they were accustomed. The wind was so fierce that their boat was tossed about, filling with water, and about to be swamped. Despite their numbers, the disciples couldn't get the water out and they soon realized they were in serious danger. 

You may wonder why they waited so long to ask Jesus for help.  They had seen quite a few miracles by this point, so surely someone in the group would have thought, "Jesus can help!" Perhaps it was compassion for His fatigue, but more likely it was pride that prevented them from asking Him for help. Jesus was, after all, "just a carpenter". They were professionals, and in their element. They had this. Until they realized they didn't. Like most of us, for a moment, they must have forgotten that the sleeping form stretched out in the back of the boat was God wrapped in skin. He was the one who really "had this" and could deal with the danger. 

Isn't that just like us?  We start out with Jesus on what seems like a routine task. He's seemingly quiet and out of sight, (thought not out of control), and suddenly, what seems like a disaster erupts. What do we do? Try to manage it. We try every remedy we can dream up until we are exhausted and defeated. The thing that is so foolish is that the only sensible solution is right there with us all the time! Jesus. If we simply took our problems to God at the very beginning, how much suffering we could be spared! 

Dear ones, are you overwhelmed with the enormity of your problems? Do you face a task that is too big for you? Is it seemly impossible to overcome? Call out to Jesus, and let Him do what only He can do. He can help you, and He will help you. You have only to ask. 

Pray today that we and our loved ones with relinquish pride and turn to Jesus instead of ourselves, for the help we so desperately need. Pray that we will see that Jesus is the help we need. 
Our terrorist prayer focus this week is Abubakar Shekau. He is the leader of Boku Haram, a radical terrorist organization operating in northeastern Nigeria. He is particularly fond of kidnapping and murder, having kidnapped nearly 300 Nigerian schoolgirls (many who are still in captivity). Earlier this week, his forces captured a civilian-controlled town, murdered at least 100 people, and made the town his new headquarters. More than 22,000 have been killed in battle between his forces and the Nigerian military in the last few years. Two bombs yesterday in Abuja killed dozen more. Boku Haram is suspected. Please pray for an end to his reign of terror and for salvation for him and his men.