GOSPEL TRAIN with Jacob Rukweza
SOMETHING fascinating happened when Jesus and the twelve disciples were crossing the Sea of Galilee after a day of ministering on the other side of the sea.
According to the Book of Mark it was soon after sunset and Jesus had suggested that they should dismiss the crowds and cross to the other shore.
While they were sailing across the sea a violent storm broke out and the waves kept getting into the boat so much that the boat was close to being swamped.
The Bible says that while this was happening Jesus had fallen asleep.
Frightened and fearing for their lives the disciples decided to wake Jesus up saying: “Teacher, do you not care that we are about to perish”.
With that Jesus woke up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea: “Peace, be still”.
Following this command the wind abated and great calm set in. In Mark 4: 40 Jesus asks his disciples an important question saying: “Why are you fainthearted. Do you not have any faith?”
God may be asking us the same question today.
We have experienced not one but numerous violent storms in our day-to-day lives.
Whether we are believers or not we have come across problems in our lives that have shaken us and made us panic.
There are times in our lives that we have felt that we will not make it to the shore.
It could be an illness or physical disability.
It could be poverty, divorce or the death of loved ones.
It could be the loss of a job or a violent marriage.
All these are some of the storms that we experience in our day-to-day lives.
The good news is that we are never alone in the storm.
The story in the Book of Mark is an important reminder that whatever our situation Jesus is always with us and experiencing the same hardships with us.
The only difference is that Jesus does not panic because He has power over storms.
What is critical is to have faith that He will see us through.
Like the disciples we have a duty not to panic but to tell Jesus about our situation.
If He could calm a violent storm at sea I am convinced he can still do the same in our lives.
Tell Jesus about your poverty, your unemployment and about your ill-health and He will calm the storm.
Tell Jesus about your challenges at school, home or work and trust him to calm the storm for you.
In short talk to Jesus about all your problems and he will deliver you.
The clearest and present danger is to forget that we are not alone.
Another danger is to panic so much that we forget to tell it to Jesus.
Once we remember that we are not alone and that Jesus has power over all the problems that we may experience in our lives then our safety will be guaranteed.
I suspect that before waking Jesus the disciples tried by all means to keep the boat afloat on their own.
They could have tried to steer clear of the storm or even try to get rid of the water that kept filling into the boat.
It is obvious that on their own they failed.
No wonder they were angry and panicking when they finally decided to tell Jesus.
We will fall in the same predicament if we try to solve problems on our own while shutting God out of our lives.
We will panic when we fail and we might be angry with God for allowing problems to befall us and not intervening.
Like the disciples we will even accuse God of not caring.
But the point is that every time we pretend to be self-reliant God will give us the opportunity to fail.
He will not impose Himself on us until we talk to Him and ask for his help.
He is a fair God who will not force us to acknowledge that He has power over our problems and indeed over our lives.
He could have decided to ignore the angry disciples but Jesus chose to listen.
In fact he was quite aware of what was going on but waited until the disciples acknowledged his presence and allowed Him to play His role.
From today onwards let us acknowledge the presence of God in our lives and allow Him to play His role as the Almighty.
In Mathew 11:28 God makes a passionate declaration to all those who are finding it difficult to cope on their own.
He says: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest”.
From where I stand this offer is unconditional and timeless.
It is an offer with no boundaries.
The choice is yours to carry your own burden or allow God to carry it for you.
The choice is really yours to make today.
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