Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Storm without Warning: Cat and Jordan

Most of you know the story of Cat and Jordan's team. Cat was asked to lead the team like a day before the STINT Leaders training. About the same time she also found out she was not heading to a certain 'stan' country she thought she was going to. Because their visas were denied they were going to be rerouted to Lebanon. Then like the next day a little thing called a war breaks out. Of course, Jordan was chill because he wanted to go to this 'Y' country anyway. Now they are headed to another 'stan' nation that borders the original one. I imagine that you like me have been impressed with the faith that they have demonstrated with 'this storm that has came without warning.' Look at them! They are so cool.

There is an account in Matthew 8 that talks about a storm that came without warning. You know the story. Jesus got in a boat and the disciples followed him. Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake. The waves swept over the boat. But, (a huge, huge but) Jesus was racking on a cushion. The storm came without warning. That's significant. Think of the comparison and contrast of storms that come with a warning and those that come without warning. (I am sure you can come up with more.)

A Storm with Warning
We anticipate the worst.
We have time to prepare.
We batten down the hatches.
To many of us, it's just part of the adventure.
We buy extra food, water and fuel. (In Greensboro, NC where Cat is from I bet the grocery is empty of milk and bread the moment snow is in the forecast.)
We preserve things that we value.
We analyze the situation and use some leadership skills of decision-making.
We have a degree of control and ability to manage our emotions and the damage.

A Storm without Warning
We experience the worst.
There's no time to prepare.
We look for escape and rescue becomes our only hope.
It's not an adventure - its survival.
We react to circumstances.
Saving our own lives is only focus.
Life is out of control and elements manage us.
Emotions often overtake us.

These seasoned fishermen went and woke Jesus. I am sure it was a desperate prayer prayed aloud and most likely all at once... "Lord, save us! We are going to drown!" Their emotions turned to dire, desperate, survival instincts.

Jesus rebukes them because their faith was small and their fear was great. It can't be because they cried in desperation because the desperate widow in Luke 18 is hailed as an example of faith. Maybe the rebuke is because their fear was so great and that that thought they were going to die. In Mark's account they ask if Jesus cared. They didn't have faith in the words He had said. Jesus gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake not orders to get into a boat and drown.

Unexpected storms in life bring to surface our limited views of the Savior. But I have a hard time really pointing fingers on these fishermen. I have not faced such unexpected storms at least not of this sort. On Monday, I had breakfast with a friend who is facing terminal cancer - now that's a tsunami and it came without warning. The littleness of my faith is exposed by storms that are more like log rides at Six Flags.

You will face some storms as you lead this year. Hopefully nothing as overwhelming as my friend Paul. And maybe you won't have to flee your country but you will face some storms. Some are expected. They are even charted out on the cultural cycle. Some will come without warning. Some you will see 'the red sky in morning' and take warning but they will be a lot bigger than you anticipated. Which will be bigger - your faith or your fear?

When the storms come: remember Jesus is in the boat with you. He has promised to take us to the other side. Cry out to Him if to you it looks like He is asleep. But know that He does care and will not let you drown. Let your faith in Him and who He is override your fear of the storm.

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1 comment:

emily said...

Thanks for the encouragement Andy!