Rembrandt, The Storm on the Sea of Galilee, 1632
I ran acoss a message by Dietrich Bonhoeffer called "Overcoming Fear” taken from The Collected Sermons of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He preached it a scant fifteen days before Hitler came to power in 1933.
Bonhoeffer took as his text Matthew 8:23-27, the story of Jesus calming the sea. You’ll remember that Jesus was asleep in the boat duirng the storm. When the disciples wake him, he rebukes them for their lack of faith and then calms the sea. As he develops his sermon, Bonhoeffer makes this observation:
When Christ is in the boat, a storm always comes up. The world tries with all its evil powers to get hold of him, to destroy him along with his disciples; it hates him and rises up against him. Christians surely know this. No one has to go through so much anxiety and fear as do Christians. But this does not surprise us, since Christ is the Crucified One, and there is no way to life for a Christian without being crucified.
That first sentence really got my attention. We tend to think that if Christ is with us, things will go smoothly.
When Christ is in the boat, a storm always comes up.
Is Christ in your boat today?
Is he traveling with you, walking with you, present with you?
Get ready for trouble.
Jesus can still the storm, but he stirs it up first.
Just a reminder for those hoping for a calm boat ride with Jesus.