Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“They cry to the Lord in their trouble, and He brings them out of their distresses. He hushes the storm to a calm and to a gentle whisper, so that the waves of the sea are still…He brings them to their desired haven.”
Psalm 107:28, 29,30
Yes, Billow After Billow
“Yes, billow after billow – see they come
Faster and rougher, as our little boat
Nears evermore the haven.
Oftentimes it seems to sink and fall down the wave,
As if borne backward by the struggling tide;
Yet mounting billow after billow, wave
On wave o’er riding, tempest tossed and shattered,
Still, still it nears the haven evermore.
‘Poor mariner, art thou not sadly weary?’
Dear (one), rest is sweeter after toil.
‘Grows not thine eye confused and dim with sight
Of nothing but the wintry waters?’ True,
But then my pole-star, constant and serene,
Above the changing waters changes not.
‘But what if clouds, as often veil the sky?’
Oh, then an unseen hand hath ever taken
The rudder from my feeble hands the while –
And I cling to it. ‘Answer me once more,
Mariner, what thinkest thou when the
Water bear thy frail boat backward
From the longed for harbor?’
Oh, dear friend, though innumerable waves
Still seem to rise between me and my home –
Still billow after billow, wave on wave –
I know that they are numbered: not on less
Should bear me homeward if I had my will;
For ‘One’ who knows what tempests are to weather,
Over whom there broke the wildest billows once,
He bids these waters swell. In His good time
The last rough wave shall bear me on its bosom
Into the haven of eternal peace.
No billows after – they are numbered, dear one.
‘O gentle mariner, steer on, steer on:
My tears sill flow for thee, but they are
Tears in which faith strives and overcomes.”
E. H. Bickersteth
Today’s Study Text:
“And (Jesus) arose and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Hush now! Be still (muzzled)! And the wind ceased, sank to rest as if exhausted by its beating. And there was immediately a great calm, a perfect peacefulness.”
Mark 4: 39
“You rule the razing of the sea, when its waves arise, You still them.”
Psalm 89: 9
“The Farce We Call Fear” Part 16
“Power Dwells With Thee”
“I look not around me – then would fears assail me.
So wild the tumult of life’s restless sea,
So dark the world, so filled with war and evil,
So vain the hope of comfort and of ease.
But I look up – up into the face of Jesus!
For there my heart can rest, my fears are stilled;
And there is joy, and love and light for darkness,
And perfect peace, and every hope fulfilled.”
Miss J. H. Hunt
Do I long for heavenly peace to calm my heart today?
Have I asked for heaven’s gift of peace and calm to fill my life each day?
“May you come safely to shore across the dark sea and know that even in the darkest depths there is hope to be found and peace.”
“A word of comfort to us, that, be the storm of trouble ever so loud, ever so strong, Jesus Christ can lay it with a word’s speaking. When without are fighting’s, and within are fears, and your spirit is in tumult, Christ can create the fruit of the lips, peace. When He says, ‘Peace, be still, there is a great calm presently.”
A wild storm. A sleeping Jesus. And fearful disciples. One thing we know from the Biblical account of this event is that the noise of the wind was deafening. This may be the reason some versions of the Bible call the storm – hurricane-like.
What makes this story special is that we find it recorded in Matthew 8: 23-27; Mark 4: 35-41; and Luke 8: 22-25.
I’ve chosen to use Mark’s account because of Biblical scholars repeatedly reference his attention to detail. Interestingly enough, Mark tells us that when the storm came upon the boat, Jesus was already in the stern sleeping. Scared to death by the ferocity of the wind and waves, the disciples woke Jesus up with their voices, most likely shouting, “Are You going to let us die out here?”
Mark tells us that, “He arose.” It is the order of the events in Mark which I find most important. Jesus got up. He didn’t ask what the problem was. Instead He took immediate action by rebuking the wind. This was the first task at hand for it was the wind that was howling so loudly and it was the wind that was causing the waves to nearly swamp the tiny vessel. I have to tell you, this is just like Jesus – at least the Jesus I have come to know…to trust...and to love in my own life. He gets right to the heart of our problems and then He solves the crisis. Sometimes even before I realize there’s a problem, He’ll have a solution in the works. This happened last week. I didn’t even know an issue had arisen that normally would have gotten me tied in knots. But five days before the problem arose, Jesus had already sent me what I needed, in the mail, to solve a completely unexpected crisis.
Another thing we need to recognize, Jesus didn’t arise and chastise the disciples for awakening Him. Nor did He ask what the problem was. Mark says that Jesus “rebuked” the wind. I really like the way the Amplified Bible gives us a better view of what Jesus did: “He arose and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Hush now! Be muzzled! Be still!”
Now I ask you, when you are facing a storm in your life, something that causes you such heartache that you can’t think straight, has it occurred to you to ask Jesus if He will arise in your life and tell the winds that are battering you to “hush, be still and be muzzled?” Well, I believe that we should ask our Friend – our Savior, who just happens to carry us in the palm of His hand, to take on our storms in the same way He did on Galilee. Wouldn’t that be the best way to handle a storm rather than trying to fix things ourselves? One of my favorite old-time authors is J.R. Mac Duff. He’s the best because he writes in a personal way that I can understand. His poem about the storm on the lake is a treasure:
“Night sinks on the wave,
Hollow gusts are sighing,
Sea birds to their cave
Through the gloom are flying.
Oh! Should storms come sweeping,
You in heaven unsleeping,
Over Your children vigil keeping,
Hear and save!
Stars look over the sea,
Few and sad and shrouded;
Faith our light must be
When all else is clouded.
You whose voice came thrilling,
Wind and billow stilling,
Speak once more our prayer falling
Power dwells with Thee!”
Here’s where I mess-up when I’m facing a storm little or big, the power doesn’t dwell with me. May we never forget – the power dwells with the “One” who is in our ship or is walking by our side or is sitting by our bedside. Never forget – Jesus has the power and He will never leave us. I love the way author J.R. Mac Duff writes about the storms we all face: “Oh, happy for us if all the hurricanes that ruffle life’s unquiet sea have the effect of making Jesus more precious. If God has to employ stormy trials, severe afflictions, let us not quarrel with His wise ordination. Better the storm with Jesus than the smooth water without Him…The great lesson taught both to the disciples and to us in this storm is that in nearness to Jesus lies all our safety.”
“I am resting today in (God’s) wonderful peace
Resting sweetly in Jesus’ control;
I am kept from all danger by night and day,
And His glory is flooding my soul.
Peace, peace! Wonderful peace,
Coming down from the Father above.
Sweep over my spirit forever, I pray,
In fathomless billows of love.”
Rev. W. D. Cornell
“My peace I give unto you.”
John 14: 27
On A Stormy Night
“Lord of the earth, and seas, and skies,
All nature owns Thy sovereign power;
At Thy command the tempest rise,
At Thy command the thunders roar.
We hear with trembling and fright,
The voice of heaven,
Keen lightenings pierce the shades of night,
And spread bright horrors all around.
These dreadful glories of Thy name
With terror would overwhelm our souls;
But mercy dawns with kinder beam
And guilt and rising fear controls.
O let Thy mercy on my heart
With cheering, healing radiance shine;
Bid every anxious fear depart,
And gently whisper, ‘Thou art mine.’
Then safe beneath Thy guardian care,
In hope serene my soul shall rest;
Nor storms no dangers reach me there,
In Thee, my God, my refuge, blest.”
And let God’s peace wash over you
Like waves lapping over pebbles
Smoothing rough edges of insurmountable worries
To tiny insignificant grains of sand.”
I want to apologize because the link I provided on Friday for the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir’s inspirational rendition of “So You Could Know” was not correct. As I thought the situation over I decided to resend the link because maybe there’s someone in Transformation Garden who needs the encouragement and message this song provides as you begin the week. So here it is:
Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir
“So You Would Know”
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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