Jean Larson - Maroota, Australia Convention - 2008

You aren't prepared for a storm unless you prepare before the storm. It  might be a little disturbance in the atmosphere or it might be a bluster,  but the storm will come.

Psalm 55:4, "My heart is sore pained within me and the terrors of death are fallen upon me." David had more than one storm  in his life. We feel like that when a disturbance comes into our life. We need to remember that, even if our storm is like Noah's storm, there is nothing we can do about it. But if our storm is self inflicted, like Jonah's, there is something we can do and that is to put self into the sea of forgetfulness. Most inward storms are because self is running things and is in the front of the picture, but self can be put in its place.

When there is a storm, our response is like David's. Verse 6, "And I said, 'Oh that I had wings like a dove! For then would I fly away, and be at rest.'" If we try to hasten our escape from the storms of life, we will hasten our own spiritual death. But if we drop anchor and ride the storm out, we will be saved. Noah experienced a storm of all storms, yet he came out of it safe and secure, useful and fruitful. It was possible because of what he did to prepare before the storm.

I don't think we ever have a common, ordinary day.  It is not a common experience in this world to read the word of God and get bread for your soul. It is not a common experience in this world to kneel beside your bed and get help from God, but the children of God can have that every day. We learn more about His will for our lives and about turning to Him for comfort. We learn that in the calm days, so when the storm comes we continue doing what we did in the calm days.

"Teach me Thy way." This isn't talking about the narrow way that leads to heaven, but about the way within the way. What is your way of responding when the storm comes? Use what we have learned in the calm days, recall His promises that we can come through with our faith deepened.

Exodus 9:19, "Gather thy cattle and all that thou hast in the field; for upon every man and beast which shall be found in the field, and shall not be brought home, the hail shall come down upon them, and they shall die." They were to be brought home to be safe. Stay in the household of faith and we won't suffer loss in the storm. Faith is an anchor, and an anchor has to have an anchor ground. The will of God is the anchor ground for faith. An anchor is considered at its peak when the ship is directly in line above it. That is true for an anchor that is in rock. It catches in the rock and if the ship is directly above it, that is the safest place it can be. A ship from the 1700s was found and the anchor had broken loose. When the anchor was found, it measured 9 feet across and weighed 1000 lbs, but it couldn't hold that ship in a storm. We never have to worry about faith letting us go. If we keep our faith in the will of God, we won't have any problems. How many storms did Jesus, David, John the Baptist and others face? Their anchor was solid and held.

Acts 27:18, "And we being exceedingly tossed with a tempest, the next day they lightened the ship." Before they lightened the ship, they ate to get strength to lighten the ship. We want to hold on to some things and still have salvation but if God has put His finger on something, we won't make it safely across the harbour unless we let go. If we don't let go, He allows storms to come. See what we are holding on to and what it is in comparison to having our sins forgiven and knowing the benefits that are found in the sanctuary. I need a right sense of values of what I am holding on to and what God is holding out to me.

Mark 6:45, Jesus sent His disciples across the sea in a boat and He went into a mountain to pray. They were in the midst of the sea but He knew where they were and what they were doing in the situation. I want to remember that no matter how alone I may feel in my storms, there is One who sees and knows, and He also cares and will make provision in the storm when the time is right. I wonder what it meant to the heart of Jesus to see them toiling? Toiling means putting in a lot of effort. The storm didn't change their goal; they had a harbour to head for. The storm didn't alter their focus of doing what Jesus asked them to do, and Jesus will stand by people like that.

A mountain climber said the most important decision a climber makes is the choice of climbing partner. On the sea of life, it is our sailing partner that is so important. Jesus will help us keep our focus and He will help us make it to the other shore.