Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”
He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.
The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”
– Matthew 8:23-27
“A few years ago, a sailing championship was held off the coast of Northern Ireland. More than 87 dinghies were in the water when a powerful squall with winds over 60 miles per hour caused several boats to capsize. Many of those rescued said they feared for their lives, but one sailor said the danger was blown out of proportion. He knew the sailors were experts; they were experienced in handling such storms. He had faith in their abilities.
“In today’s scripture, Jesus had just finished the Sermon on the Mount and He had healed many. He and the disciples were crossing over the Sea of Galilee and Jesus went to sleep. A storm hit and the disciples, afraid for their lives, woke Jesus – who immediately calmed the winds and waves. The disciples learned you don’t have to fear storms in life if you have faith in the abilities of the One who controls everything.”
– Presidential Prayer Team Devotion
I was in the Army. If I had been in the Navy, this topic might conger some memories.
But I was watching a report from the Carolinas the other day. The National Guard was practicing floating bridge construction. That brought back memories of when the Army got permission to close traffic on the Rhein River to build a floating bridge across the river. Due to the dangerous currents in the river, the crew building the bridge had to be the best and safety crews had to be the best as well, in case anyone fell off the bridge during construction. Due to the impact on commerce up and down the river, this was not done that often.
This caused me to have a renewed confidence in the crews practicing bridge building in the Carolinas. The crews might be called for if a key bridge were to wash away due to flooding after Hurricane Florence had dumped so much water on the area and more rains coming. The news clip was before Hurricane Michael. If the National Guard crews were needed, the water would be at flood stage and the current would be dangerously high. They needed to practice.
But how do these floating bridges stay in the same place? When I took the training program, it was all about anchorage. The pontoons, or whatever was floating, were tethered to the shore and anchored so that the bridge would stay in one place, regardless of the current passing beneath the floating bridge.
While Jesus calmed the storm with one rebuke, Jesus could calm the current in a flooded river. Yet, God sends these trials to test our faith. Will we throw up our hands in defeat or will we press on, trusting in God for each new step.
It is like Jesus is an anchor. If we lack faith, Jesus is like an anchor that is tossed to a drowning man. Not in a literal sense. Picture a drowning man’s salvation standing there on the shore with an outstretched hand. Without faith, the drowning man does not reach out for the anchor that will tether him to safety. Instead, he sinks and drowns, as if tied to an anchor. It is not Jesus as this deadly anchor. It is the weight of the man’s sin and his refusal to accept Jesus.
But if we have faith, we are tethered to the Rock of Salvation, Jesus, the anchorage that has a firm grip on the safe shore. In our faith, we simply lean back and float, safe, knowing that Jesus will guide us to shore and safety and into His arms.
About the Photo:
This was our family’s first excursion after moving from Germany to Watertown, MA. We drove from Lexington to Concord. We parked at the Old Manse, Emerson’s home, where his grandfather lived when the shot was heard round the world. You can see that the rude bridge is indeed arched over the flood.
By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot heard round the world.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, Concord Hymn
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.