Lesson 2 -- fourth quarter 2001
September 9, 2001
© Copyright 2001, Christian Light Publications
The tempests are raging!
All around us, the storms of life pile up huge waves and stir up tremendous winds. The foam churns higher and deeper; the lightning streaks the sky with light and cracks the air with thunder. The ships soar and plunge through the monstrous waves, creaking and groaning under the merciless beating of the elements. Yet with Christ in my vessel, I can smile at the storm.
Sure, I will admit that my smile is often strained as I experience life's storms and tempests. Too frequently I forget that Christ and I travel in the same boat. Too often I have Peter's distracted focus, absorbed by the tumultuous goings-on around me, rather than consciously confiding in the Sovereign One with whom I ride.
I don't know what storms you're struggling through. So let me categorize some of the tempests that assail us in my day.
Stormy Nations. This afternoon the United States Supreme Court agreed to get involved in the Presidential election mess that Florida has become. Seventeen days after the matter should have been resolved, the continuing Presidential uncertainty has got countless folks in a stir. But there are other much more stormy nations around. Israel is in the throes of what some analysts forecast will become another Arab-Israeli regional war. Peru, having gone through weeks of political turmoil and intrigue, has had its embattled president resign...while he was visiting Japan! China keeps making bellicose statements, terrorists keep striking here and there, and "unstable" nations keep upgrading the scope, range, and capacity of their destructive capabilities. I'm telling you, it is stormy out there! But none of this has spun out of the control of the Sovereign One. And, praise God, I am in the same boat with Him!
Stormy Churches. It seems our congregation has really taken a beating of late...and the tempest, while abated somewhat, does not seem to have run its course. So many congregations are boiling, roiling, and broiling...and it isn't because of the zeal and fervor of the Lord of the church. Members bite and devour one another, leaders struggle with rebellion and apathy, and the weak get flung right out of the boat. Congregations struggle with issues of vision, purpose, preference, direction, and conviction. Deception and delusion abound. But despite the storm, the Master traveling with me gives me hope, confidence, and assurance that His purposes and truth will not be overcome and sunk.
Stormy Families. There's the father that talks the talk, but lives another life. There's the mother that comes unglued so often. There's the daughter and her secret life. There's the son with his own ungodly schemes and dreams. And there they are in church together, exuding peace and harmony; now there they are at home, flying apart together at each other. And if that's a montage of an imaginary church family, what must it be like in the world?! Furthermore, is there any hope for my family? Yes, if Christ is in our vessel!
What do sovereigns do?
Let me see. It seems most earthly sovereigns throughout history have specialized in sitting on their thrones, little concerned for their subjects.
The Sovereign One, though, cares deeply about His people. He doesn't live life apart from them, having chosen rather to experience life with them. He travels with them in the same boat. That's what the Sovereign One does!
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