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Smiling At the Storm

You are probably familiar with the story in Mark’s Gospel where Jesus calms the life-threatening storm the disciples unexpectedly encounter as they make their way across the Sea of Galilee. But you might not be as familiar with the story in Mark 6 where the disciples were back at it, rowing away on yet another trip, but “they were making headway painfully, for the wind was against them.” Where might you be feeling a strong headwind in your life today in the form of some chronic trial? Perhaps you find yourself weary of rowing, weary at the thought of another day trusting God, serving God, obeying God in the face of strong headwind. If you aren’t familiar with this story then you might be unaware of the comfort that can be derived from these verses. J.C. Ryle explains:

“There are thoughts here of comfort for all true believers. Wherever they may be, or whatsoever their circumstances, the Lord Jesus sees them…the same eye which saw the disciples tossed on the lake is every looking at us. We are never beyond the reach of his care.” J.C. Ryle

Do you find yourself in need of some comfort today? Does your soul need to be steadied and strengthened? Does God seem distant and indifferent? If you’ve ever felt you were somehow beyond the reach of His care then let me recommend you familiarize yourself with what took place in Mark 6:45-52. If you presently find yourself facing some kind of headwind in the form of a trial, well, Ryle is right, “There are thoughts here of comfort for all true believers.” The relevance of the passage for your soul and life at this time might surprise you. If we understand and apply what we learn of our Lord in this passage then we can sing with the hymn writer John Newton,

“With Christ in the vessel I smile at the storm.”

These quotes are from a sermon I preached over the weekend at Cornerstone Church of Knoxville entitled “The Boys in the Boat.”