Posted by: pmarkrobb | April 7, 2016

no storm whose ear is deaf

I’d like to back up a couple of days, if you’ll allow — a couple of days and years, actually.  The story in focus today is from Luke 8 (Monday’s reading), but the words of this post are borrowed from 2014.  I love, on occasion, to revisit old writing.  It’s a diary of sorts — a window into where my heart and life were as I engaged the same scripture in months or years past.  Let’s re-consider together the story of Jesus calming the storm.

I sometimes “envy” the new Christian.  Reading and discovering things for the first time is so thrilling, and seems to fuel your desire for even more.  Over the past few years I have made a personal commitment to intentionally read the Bible as if with new eyes.  I read and re-read stories, laser-focused on each detail of the person, place or thing.  It’s amazing how many times I find myself surprised by what I read.  Details I was sure were in the story that simply weren’t, and things I was sure people said but goodness if I could find them!  In our familiarity with scripture, it can be so easy to unintentionally add, subtract or confuse.

As I read the words of Jesus’ question to the disciples after He calmed the storm, it was as if I had misunderstood it my entire life.  As I read them with new eyes this morning, it was as if I made a brand new discovery!  “Ohhhhhhh … that’s what He meant!”

Where is your faith?” Jesus asked.  For most of my life of faith, I assumed Jesus was making a statement in the form of a question.  Isn’t that what we do when we’re trying to make a point?  Ask a question that really isn’t a question.  I had assumed for all this time Jesus was rebuking the disciples.  “Where was your faith when you needed it?” (note that I did not italicize those words, nor did I change their color to red – my question, not His).  “I guess your faith failed you, didn’t it?” (again, no italics, no red)

What I just figured out two days ago, was that Jesus was genuinely asking his closest followers in what, or in who was their faith?  As men who had spent their adult lives on the water, was their faith in their sailing skills or a sturdy boat?  Did they believe in themselves to weather the storm, and when they finally concluded they were powerless against the wind and the waves, they ran to Jesus?  But wait, isn’t that what He would have wanted them to do?

As my heart and mind were opened to truth, I began to read backwards to see what else I might have missed or misunderstood.  It didn’t take long for me to see the disciples actions and words with new eyes as well.  These were not men that had tried to battle the storm, lost hope and went running to Jesus to save them.  These were His followers that tried to battle the storm, lost hope and went running to Jesus to tell Him they were all going to drown.  Impressive they would want to warn Him, but absolutely absent of any faith in Him to do anything about their dire condition.

Now, I’ll stop right here and emphatically insist that we must be quick to resist judging the disciples.  There are so many instances of “low hanging fruit” where we could sit in judgement of these men.  Walking along the road with Jesus (multiple times), having arguments over who is the best.  Asking if they could be the one to sit at Jesus’ right hand in heaven.  Trying to shield children from being brought to Jesus, and rebuking those who were bringing them.  Seriously, guys!  But before those words leave our lips, I hope the conviction of the Spirit stops us cold.  The disciples are us and we are them.

When you are in the midst of a violent storm in your life, who do you run to?  And if it’s Jesus, what do you say?  I know in my own life, there have been far too few times when I’ve run directly into His arms to simply seek shelter.  Far too few times I’ve simply spoken my fears and nestled into His embrace in full trust that He will save me from drowning and eventually calm the storm(s) with just the sound of His voice.  Where is their faith?  Where is my faith?

I find it so comforting that Jesus calmed the storm first.  He didn’t stand against the powerful gale and ask them the question.  He didn’t require affirmation of their faith before acting to remove the danger.  Do we trust God that much?  Do we trust there isn’t a “storm” too great that He is not Lord over it?  Can we run to Jesus and be content to simply ride out the storm below deck because He is there with us?

How did I miss this before?  Maybe it’s because sometimes I read or remember scripture with my own filter.  Maybe somewhere along my walk of faith I fell into Satan’s trap and began believing (even just a little) that God responds with sarcasm, disapproval or conditions when I try in my own power to battle the storms and fail.  “Where was your faith, Mark?” (no italics, no red).

I believe in this story He is saying to me, and to you, “Trust me.  I can be trusted.  No matter how powerful the winds and the waves are, no matter how desperate the situation seems … I can be trusted!”  Run to Him.  Trust Him.  There is no storm whose ear is deaf to the sound of His voice.

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Responses

  1. Thanks for the reboot, in the end all roads seem to lead to trust, thank you Father.

  2. Very good! 🙂

    Trust……a simple choice/decision, or a growing relationship? Or both?

    Much of Life for us as believers/followers seems to lead to these places of trust/faith. So, how do I trust, have faith, if at the time I really don’t trust or have faith?g

    I like the beginning of Romans 12, dealing with transformation and a renewing mind……….a new way to think – responding in a renewing way, rooted in renewing thought as a being renewed man. 🙂 In Romans, God seems to allow for us to “test and approve” (sort of taste and see) what His will is. To share our thoughts of mistrust or non-trust around His “plans for us” in the presence of our completely trustworthy Father. To start in the place of, “I don’t trust”, allowing for whys, whens, hows and wheres to be examined/exposed. To allow the Gracious Light of Truth to tabernacle with us in our absence of trust. (Thank you Jesus, that that is possible!) It seems that there, in that exposure, by His grace and intention, in both practical and supernatural ways, He reveals why He trusts Himself and that He is inviting us to know Him as He knows Himself in the area of trust – then to “test” what we hear and see there. How gracious! To test the new thinking that, by His grace, is developing within us. And to not only be OK with the storms and challenges to our trust/faith, but to “approve” them as God’s will – “his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Not that we won’t have any concern, maybe even “sorrow” and “a troubled heart” as Jesus did in the garden of Gethsemane, but these will be accompanied by a trust that says, thinks, desires and means, “may Your will be done”. Trust, the One who alone is trustworthy, will be known and secure! 🙂

    Perhaps an ongoing. lifelong, conversation and relationship with our Father around these truths (trust issues) results in a developing/renewing mind/man that is being enabled to choose trust/faith in new and previously unknown frontiers. Sort of the, “shall I not drink the [new} cup the Father has given me?”, rooted in the knowledge, experience and relational aspects of having drunk before – tasted and seen, tested and approved.

    So I conclude for myself today, that trust has both a choosing/deciding aspect and a knowing/experiencing aspect. However, trying to do the first apart from the second, I believe, leaves out the relational Person of God, and leads to an “ineffective and unproductive” (to borrow words from 2 Peter 1:8) ending – no trust! Our father, who describes Life as knowing Him (John 17:3), will graciously not allow us to settle for a trust apart from knowing Him who is altogether trustworthy. 🙂

    Journey OnWord, thanks again, as many time before, for being involved as God reaches out to us readers and continues the story here. Pretty much all I have written over the years I am pretty sure is for my own benefit and challenge. A place to continue to engage, examine and expose my thoughts. 🙂

    Enjoy this day He, the trustworthy One, has made!


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