By Adam Van Dop
I grew up camping with my family in the very same location every year, “Costa Lotta,” a campsite on Vancouver Island, just north of Qualicum. My dad, when we could pry him away from his fishing rod, would take us water-skiing, tubing & kneeboarding in the ocean waters in front of the campsite, which created for me some of my favourite memories of growing up.
An integral part of this annual camping trip, were the storms that would rage up the Strait of Georgia (the body of water between Vancouver Island and the Mainland of BC), every year this storm would come, bearing tons of rain, and harsh winds.
There was one afternoon where these water sports and the storm collided. I was behind the boat on my kneeboard having the time of life, going back and forth over the wake, soaking up the salt water while hanging onto the rope for dear life.
Then all of a sudden the wind came up, a two-foot chop formed, tossing me out of rhythm and into the water. My dad in the boat came and picked me up, and we headed for shore.
I love a good storm, the feel, the sounds, and the sight – not the aftermath.
Jesus and His disciples experienced a similar regular storm. Go ahead and read it …
Water, throughout the bible can be seen in one of three ways,
1. A cleansing agent,
2. A source of life, &
3. A cosmic force that only God could control.
The disciples surely were not heading into the Sea of Galilee to take a bath, nor were they going for a drink to quench their thirst, and I doubt that Peter was behind the boat, clinging to a rope, kneeboarding.
The Sea of Galilee is a sea that is over 160 square km’s, which lies in a deep valley over 180 meters below sea level. This placement dictates a daily storm (of which I’ll leave for the weather man to explain), something which the disciples (who some were trained fishermen) would surely understand.
They hop in their boat with full knowledge that this storm was coming, and Jesus heads to the back and takes a nap. The storm rises, and the disciples start getting a little antsy, they wake up their Teacher, begging for help. Jesus rubs his eyes, perhaps a stretch, and maybe a scratch – He was not afraid – and He asked His disciples, “Why are you guys so afraid???” (Jesus knew it was not His time to die yet, he was more worried about if His disciples knew that or not.)
So He looks at the water around Him and says “Peace, be still” (from the Mark account). The weather obeys: the wind stops, and the sea calms down. And the disciples marvelled.
I would have loved to see the look on their faces.
In life, storms arise – we go into every day with that knowledge. Things happen that are completely not within our control.
A family member dies.
A break up with a girl/boy-friend.
An argument between spouses.
A scraped knee or a bumped head.
A lost job.
A car accident.
Insert your latest/current storm <here>.
The 12 disciples went into their boat knowing that this storm would arise; meanwhile their Passenger was the Guy who made the area which was prone to these storms, and who had just shown His control over death and sickness.
They did not realize the power that was with them – literally right beside them, in their boat – in their lives who could exercise His control over the earth and its workings.
Often we do the same; we do not realize the power of Christ Jesus that is in our boat, in our lives. He is there wanting to exercise His power in our lives. This is amazing stuff, but isn’t my main point yet.
When it comes to being true Spilled Salt (what is Spilled Salt? Click here: http://network.crcna.org/content/youth/spilled-salt-origins-purpose) in our world – it is our actions and words that are seen by those who do not believe (as well as those who believe).
When a storm arises in our lives, it is our response to that storm that others see.
A family dies or a break-up happens: where do we turn?
An argument between spouses: how is that resolved?
A scraped knee or bumped head: what are the words that are exclaimed in immediate response?
A lost job: who are we returning to for help?
A car accident: who protected us? What is our initial response?
How did you respond to your own storm?
The Lord Jesus Christ is in our boat, although He may be napping (and that’s just because He’s just so crazy busy), He is still fully paying attention to you.
How will you respond to a storm? What are the words you say and actions you act when you first see it?
How do others see you respond? Is your response different for different company?
I remember thinking to myself a number of different things as I was on my kneeboard being tossed around like a ragdoll – which more than likely were verbalized. Although no one around was within ear-shot, Christ was there, hearing everything loud and clear.
So, my prayer for you and for myself is that in the midst of whatever storm we are in, or that has been forecasted, that we feel the comfort of Christ at our sides, and see the power that is in Him.
Ask that you will have the strength to act as though you should, as I do the same.