Garry Packard - Williams and Perth Special Meetings - May, 2006

Hymn 283

Mark 4:34-38, “And when they had sent away the multitude, they took Him even as He was in the ship. And there were also with Him other little ships. And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And He was in the hinder part of the ship asleep on a pillow: and they awake Him and say unto Him, 'Master, carest Thou not that we perish?'

Life could be described as a journey across an ocean, a body of water, and we either have Jesus with us or we don’t. There are 2 possibilities and here we’re told about the disciples journeying across the sea in the ship and Jesus was in that ship with them. We are also told about other little ships but Jesus wasn’t in those ships. There was only 1 ship that had Jesus present. I don’t know what those other ships thought: maybe having Jesus in the ship nearby was enough, but it wasn’t. When we journey on life’s ocean, we take Jesus in our ship.

We heard recently of some that have just embarked on that journey, and that’s nice, taking their first steps in God’s way and with others who have just about reached the other shore. But for some or a lot of us we are somewhere out in the middle of that ocean, but the question is where is Jesus in our ship? Where is He in our life, because as they journeyed out there arose a great storm? There are going to be storms: that’s part of the ocean, part of life. And even if Jesus is in the ship, it may not necessarily prevent the storms coming. Some may be right in the thick of the storm now or about to enter. But the main thing is, where is Jesus if you take Him on board, and what part of the ship? He was in the hinder part, the back of the boat and not only that, but He was asleep. The disciples were stricken with fear and panic, like their life was in turmoil. Maybe that’s how it is at present, but where is Jesus in the midst of all the storm? Well, He was asleep and needed to be awakened. We may have taken Him into our life and He could just be occupying some part but not the prominent part.

As we sang, “Is the Master at the helm? Hear Him whisper peace, be still.” Are we making Him the captain of our salvation or is He asleep in some other part of our life and He needs to be awakened? Well, Jesus cared for them. He had peace in His life, all was well. And He was trusting in His Heavenly Father from which He had come so all was well and He did care for them. He arose and rebuked the wind. Those disciples – they had each other but it was only when they called on Jesus that the great calm came, and peace. The real storm that day was in their own hearts, and Jesus rebuked them. “Why are ye fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” They were fretting rather than trusting and their faith was wavering, and Jesus needed to be awakened.

We read in the Psalms, “Turn us again, O God of hosts cause Thy face to shine and we shall be saved.” Isn’t that what we need to do? That the Lord would turn us again, direct us away from ourselves, our selfishness; turn us from the storm we have got focused on? Turn us again, cause Thy face to shine. “Strong radiant light assuring,” it comes from the face of Jesus when we turn to Him, we shall be saved. The captain of our salvation - they had the help of each other and we are glad of each other but in the height of the storm and the heat of the battle, its Jesus alone can save me; from every storm He’ll shield me.

Storms are part of life, part of the ocean and part of the journey. He won’t save us from the storm but He will shield us in the storm. Jesus rebuked the wind and that power was just His word and there was a great calm. Not only on the ocean that day but in the lives of those who had called on the God of their salvation. We don’t read any more about those other little ships but today it’s the ship that we are in. We want to get Jesus awake in our lives and get Him at the helm crying, "Peace be still." “And they said one to another, 'What manner of man is this that even the wind and the sea obey Him?'” Yet His very own, through wavering faith, aren’t always willing to do His will. Hear Him whisper, "Peace be still."