The sky puffs up dark gray, and storm clouds darkening the horizon are coming in like a bully looking for a fight. Lightning crackles within the gray, sending moms scrambling for children and beach towels as the wind playfully kicks up sand on the beach. A small plastic bucket once part of the montage of castles, tumble-stumbles and rolls down the beach beneath the red warning flag, with children crying for it’s return. Soon the sky bleeds into on grey mass with the ocean as rain hammers down on vacationers.
Not far from the water’s edge is a shrimp boat slowly dragging its nets is heading into the storm. The boat rocks side to side and white caps crash into its side trying to see if it can be toppled. Soon the boat fades from sight as gray rain touches the blue gulf and the two become one.
Storms of life rarely arrive without notice. We see the signs and hope it passes. Red flags wave their warning and we choose to believe we will never need to endure such issues, because harm only comes to others – the weak and unprepared.
I wonder if the disciples thought the storm would pass by right up until the time the waves began to make a swamped the deck, and tried to drag the boat into the dark abyss?
Rembrandt painted the scene of Christ calming the sea.
If you’ll look closely, you will see there are 13 men with Christ. Who is the thirteenth man you ask? It is Rembrandt. He has painted himself into the picture. He is the one with the blue shirt and the pinkish bandana on his head. His hand is holding the bandana and he is looking straight at you.
It is as if he is saying, “I understand this, because I’ve been in this boat.”
“I’ve been in the same boat, in the storm, and horrified I would not make it.”
We see, along with the disciples, the impending danger. We can see how the boat is close to capsizing. But we have been given a view that the disciples cannot see. We can see the storm breaking and the blue sky coming forth.
Do not be afraid of sudden fear
Nor of the onslaught of the wicked when it comes;
For the Lord will be your confidence
And will keep your foot from being caught. Proverbs 3:25-26
Sudden fear is anything that keeps you from abiding in the peace which passes all understanding. Sudden fear is when the waves come up higher than your ability to breathe. Sudden fear is when the wind is stronger than your ability to stand. Sudden fear is when you see your boat swamped with life’s problems you cannot control and it seem the one who can calm the strom is sleeping.
The disciples, though they had seen Christ do miracles, failed to apply what they witnessed to their everyday life.
Faith Fails when Fear Prevails
When we allow our imagination to become dominate over our understanding we are paralyzed with fear. The disciples had seen Jesus do miracles, and they knew he was capable of handling this precarious situation, but they allowed fear of what might be to over-ride their knowledge of who was with them.
“There are very few monsters who warrant the fear we have for them.” ~Andre Gide
Faith makes you brave because you know whether in the boat or on dry land, or whether you are in the storm or resting under blue skies, you are not alone. God is with you
Can I challenge you to be brave today? What monster has robbed you of your faith? Can you face the fear and take it down, even one notch? Let me hear your stories in the comments!
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