Now that we are in the boat storage business and living next door to Cecil, who is a boat mechanic, we have seen many different types of boats. There are little fishing boats, there are the fancy ski boats, there are the boats that have room under the deck for small living areas, there are high powered boats with big engines, there are sailboats, and so many more different types of boats. I could even be like Dr. Seuss and say, red boat, blue boat, green boat, black boat, 1 boat, 2 boats, 3 boats, more.
Anytime one goes out on a boat, there are safety precautions that need to be done; making sure you have enough gas to get to point A and back, making sure all the plugs are in your boat before you put it in the water so it doesn’t fill up with water. Having enough life jackets for everyone is another very important thing to remember.
Another important thing to think about is the weather forecast for the day. If one is going fishing, a little rain is no big deal but if you are on a pleasure or ski boat you most likely don’t want it to rain. You don’t want it to be very windy as that will stir up the whitecaps and make it rough to go down the river or the lake. There are so many things to think about.
So let’s imagine it is a beautiful day and you have no commitments. It is the perfect day to take the boat out wherever you like to go the most so you pack a lunch, check out the boat, make sure you have lifejackets and sunscreen. You head out for a nice ride and then to find a place to stop, eat your lunch, and take a swim. Life is good. But something is changing. The boat was barely rocking in the water but now it is rocking a little more. You look to the west, because that is where the storms come from if you live around here, and the sky is getting darker and the clouds are forming quickly. Before you can even turn around, your boat is starting to rock even more and you are starting to hear thunder. This is not good. You tell everyone to pack up their stuff, get in their seats, and you head for shore, hoping that you will make it before the storm is over the top of you. You really don’t want to be in the middle of the lake or river when the storm hits. Fortunately, you weren’t totally oblivious to what was happening and you are able to get back to shore before the storm hits directly over you. For being in the boat in the middle of the lake or river is not the place to be when the wind is kicking up the waves and they are getting higher and higher, then the lightning bolts are coming closer and closer.
So we come to the scripture that I read. Here are the disciples in the middle of the lake along with Jesus who is sleeping in the stern on a cushion. For after all, it had been a busy day telling the parables to the crowd on the shore, giving them the stories that helped the crowd understand about the love of Jesus and how He is there for them no matter what, so no wonder He was napping. As He slept a storm came up suddenly, the wind was blowing hard, the waves were high, and water was coming into the boat. The disciples were getting concerned, and couldn’t understand why Jesus was just sleeping away. As the storm worsened they couldn’t stand it any longer and woke up Jesus saying; “Master, don’t you even care that we are about to drown?” Jesus woke up, stood up, rebuked the wind and said to the water; “Peace! Be Still!” The wind calmed down and the water became calm. Poof! Just like that.
Then Jesus says to his disciples; “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” I think that is a fair question to ask. Wouldn’t you think that his disciples who were with Jesus in the boat would know that He would not let anything happen to them? They have been with Him all this time and have heard Him tell them and the people they encounter that Jesus is there for them, He will protect them for He loves them. But like us, his disciples are human and there are times when their emotions, their fear take over before they have a chance to think and say to themselves, no worries we are with Jesus and He can do anything. He will protect us. The last verse says; “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” Oh yes, He is Jesus and He can do anything. Even the wind and the sea listen to Him and obey. We need to remember to have faith.
Once again a children’s message says it the best. After telling the story of the storm, it says:
“We know who Jesus is, don’t we? And we know that Jesus can still calm storms today. Sometimes, there are sudden storms in our life. Perhaps it is an illness, a family problem, or the death of a friend or loved one. During these times, Jesus can calm the storms of doubt and fear in our life. He doesn’t always take away all of the problems, but if we will trust in him, he will give us peace in our hearts even in the middle of a storm.”
We just need to put that thought in the forefront of our minds so when a storm hits, our boat makes it safely to the shore, for Jesus is with us always. Amen.