Peace in the Midst of the Storm
Terry J. Hallock
Mark 4:35-41; 6:45-51
October 14, 2001
The two scenes from Mark that form the Scriptural foundation for this message do not describe the first time the Disciples had been on the Sea of Galilee. Most of them were fisherman and had been out on those waters hundreds of times since their childhood. They knew that Sea like the back of their hand and they knew how to manage a boat in its rough waters. But they had never seen anything like the storms that hit them on those two separate occasions. They were so massive and violent those hardened fishermen cried out in terror fearing they were about to die.
In New Testament imagery a boat was the symbol of the Church and troubled waters were the symbol of troubled lives in the midst of sin sick world. As Americans and Christians, you and I are in the boat facing a storm such as we've never seen. Like the Disciples who took their experience with the Sea of Galilee for granted and believed they knew how to handle ever thing it might throw at them, we had become fairly complacent about life in America. That is, until September 11th when a storm blew in upon us the likes of which we never thought we'd see.
In the midst of this national storm we are battling together some of us may be trying at the same moment to sail through the trouble waters of a stormy personal life. On top of the winds of terror that beat upon America September 11th, the enemy may be sending storms of destruction upon some of our families, or our finances, or our health. The boat is taking water, the threats of the storms we face are very real, and we may well feel as if we're about to drown.
Yet, brothers and sisters, somebody is about to throw us a life preserver. Somebody is about take on the storms of our life face to face and shout, "Peace! Be still!" Somebody is greater than all the winds of destruction. Somebody is stronger than all the rain of terror. Somebody is greater than the darkness that surrounds us and the waves that seek to wash over us. And that somebody is Jesus!
Mark's two stories of drowning men and their Lord and Master teach us two unchanging truths about Jesus and how through Him we can find peace in the midst of the storm: Jesus is present in every storm and has power over any storm.
In the first of Mark's stories Jesus is in the boat with the Disciples, but in the second He is on the far shore as they go sailing off alone. Yet in neither experience do the Disciples pay much attention to Jesus' location. They were simply going to sail across the waters of Galilee as they had time after time before. Jesus' presence or absence didn't seem to make much difference. Those meaningless trips across the lake didn't seem to require Jesus' help. In fact, in the first story He goes to one end of the boat and falls asleep without the Disciples saying a word about it at the time.
In much of our living Jesus' presence or absence doesn't seem to ...
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