Daily D – Luke 8:24-25
They came and woke him up, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to die!” Then he got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waves. So they ceased, and there was a calm. He said to them, “Where is your faith?”
LUKE 8:24-25 (CSB)
“Why can’t you trust me?” This is how The Message paraphrases Jesus’ question. It’s a good question.
Consider the fact that Peter, James, and John were among the World’s Foremost Experts in Boats and Fishing. Their whole lives had revolved around the Sea of Galilee. As Little River Band sang a generation ago, so could Peter, James, and John:
Well, I was born in the sign of water
And it’s there that I feel my best
(Little River Band, Cool Change, Glenn Shorrock)
True confession: I discovered only moments ago that this song lyric uses the word “sign.” I always thought it said, “sight.” I like my version better and will continue singing it that way if you don’t mind.
Pete, Jimmy, and Johnny knew all there was to know about that lake. They had seen it flat and windless. They had seen the winds shift from one direction to another in an instant. They had felt the temperature rise and fall rapidly. A little breeze, a little rain, a little thunder and lightning, while very, very frightening to many, left them unfazed.
This occasion involved more than a little thunder and lightning and wind and rain. It involved what felt like as much water in the boat as in the sea. It involved winds so strong they threatened to capsize the crew. It involved lightning so brilliant and so close that they had no place to run, no place to hide.
Truth is, they came to the end of themselves. They had no personal resources left. There were no more tricks up their sleeves. They had reached their limits. It was as if they had driven straight into a dead-end without space to turn around while hemmed in from behind.
Only one person was not worried, was not bothered, was not concerned in the least. It may have been because he was asleep. It may be because he was stronger than the storm, faster than the wind, more brilliant than lightning. It may be because he is God with Us.
This is where we entered the story in the verses above. Pete, Jimmy, Johnny, and their companions came to Jesus with nothing but terror and an inconvenient truth. They were going to die.
They came to the right man. They knew to come to him because, however grudgingly they admitted it, Jesus was the best at everything. They thought they were the Best Fishermen Ever until Luke 5:1-11 happened. Jesus was also the best teacher, best doctor, best maitre d’. He was the best at everything he did.
He was also the best Rescuer, the best Savior.
Several songs sing, “Sometimes he calms the storm; sometimes he calms his child.” When Luke writes, “So they ceased, and there was a calm,” it applies to both the storm and the disciples.
The second half of verse 25 says, “They were fearful and amazed, asking one another, “Who then is this? He commands even the winds and the waves, and they obey him!”
What does it take for you to realize you do not have the necessary resources to save yourself? Whether it is from a difficult work situation, a painful relationship issue, a difficulty arising because of sinful pride, or an honest mistake that places people and property at great risk?
It is when we come to the end of ourselves that we discover that Jesus has no such limitations. His capacities are unlimited. Nothing is too hard for him. He can do anything but fail.
Around the same time The Little River Band was singing about sailing, a Texas boy from the Austin area named Christopher Cross also sang about sailing:
Well it’s not far back to sanity, at least it’s not for me
And if the wind is right you can sail away and find serenity
Oh, the canvas can do miracles, just you wait and see.
(Christopher Cross, Sailing, Carter Burwell)
We can stand in the storm with Jesus and feel our best.
We can sit in the calm stillness afterward and return to sanity and serenity.
Knowing who to turn to when you don’t know what to do next is just about the most important lesson we will ever learn.
Trusting Jesus when we come to the end of ourselves is a life-giving keystone habit.
I will trust Jesus at all times for all things.
Our Father, you never fail. You are limitless. You are good. The best days of my life are those when I realize I do not have what it takes to step forward, to lead, to make any kind of positive difference. My limitations are a blank canvas for you to illustrate your wisdom and perfection. Here are my fears and my limitations. Use them however you see fit to demonstrate your amazing grace. Amen.
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Zechariah 13:9 “This third I will put into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God.’ ”
Zechariah 9:9, 10 Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. I will take away the chariots from Ephraim and the warhorses from Jerusalem, and the battle bow will be broken. He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.
Ezra 3:12, 13 But many of the older priests and Levites and family heads, who had seen the former temple, wept aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being laid, while many others shouted for joy. No one could distinguish the sound of the shouts of joy from the sound of weeping, because the people made so much noise. And the sound was heard far away.
Daniel 2:30 “As for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because I have greater wisdom than anyone else alive, but so that Your Majesty may know the interpretation and that you may understand what went through your mind.”