O6232021 – Mark 4. 35-41

 

Our minds freely go there…no matter WHAT the preacher says.

 

WHAT WE “feel,” is WHAT we feel.

We “experience,” WHAT we experience.

 

You can PREACH until you are blue in the face ABOUT Jesus.

 

You can tell us, it is NOT ABOUT US, and we will shake our heads in agreement, with you…EVERY TIME!

 

But when we walk out the door and are alone…

When we THINK ABOUT IT.

When we are in the midst of a Tsunami…

When we are confronted…

When we are IN – OVER OUR HEADS…

When we are bailing the waters of chaos with our hands…

We KNOW, in our heart of hearts, it is about US-TOO!

 

This life IS NOT exactly a “cake walk.”

Things happen.

The train becomes derailed.

The unexpected happens…and occurs…

There are detours.

Life and living ARE NOT ALWAYS SO EASY…

Life is full of its UPS and DOWNS.

Stuff comes seemingly out of NO WHERE…

Life is anything but EASY…a challenge TO BE SURE.

AND YES, there are many STORMS in this life.  MANY.

 

Not just one, or two.

They come at us, again and again…from all angles…

 

And sometimes, it feels like, we have to face them ALL ALONE…by ourselves.

 

Is God oblivious?

Is Jesus oblivious?

Is the Spirit oblivious to our plight?

 

In moments of CRISIS, fear can EASILY replace faith.  Faith gets kicked quickly to curb.

 

Just WHERE IS God during my suffering?

WHERE IS Jesus?

And WHAT of the SPIRIT…the comforter…WHERE IS the spirit…

 

You tell me, he WALKS with me every DAY, every WHERE, he is a breath or a prayer away….

 

But what about THOSE DAYS and TIMES when I DO NOT FEEL his closeness, those times when I feel totally and completely alone…

 

Those TIMES when it SEEMS TO BE ALL ON ME…

 

WHY is God silent in OUR suffering?

 

I know, I get it, these are all-age-old-ancient-questions-raised-throughout-the-ages…from time immemorial…

 

Is God indifferent?

Is Jesus indifferent?

Is Jesus in the STERN asleep on a PILLOW?

 

Surely, I am NOT the first to feel THIS WAY…surely NOT the first to express my THOUGHTS…or to say them OUT LOUD.

 

When my little boat is filling up with water HOW DARE YOU BE ASLEEP…

 

So, I thought about the storms of this life…there are so many…and probably some – that I will miss…

 

But I thought of:  DEATH, LOSS and GRIEF, SICKNESS and CANCERS, MISCARRIAGES and DEPRESSION, MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES, JOB LOSS, DIVORCE, CHRONIC PAIN, FATIGUE, DOUBT, DISCOURAGEMENT, FINANCIAL HARDSHIPS, FAMILY PROBLEMS, AGING and ADDICTIONS…

 

But you know, as well I do, that there are MORE…more storms…always MORE storms.

 

The TV evangelist says, “If God brought you TO IT, he would see you THROUGH IT!”  and they rake in – a million dollars with that one line…on one program.  T-shirts, coffee mugs and posters all cost extra.

 

Not EVERYONE makes it to the “other side.”  Not everyone makes it through it.

 

There are all kinds of “corny lines” –

God cannot break his own laws, he does this to strengthen us, in chaos he reveals his will for us, he causes these things to help us experience him in new ways or he does this to equip us to be present for others…in the future.

 

The church on the other hand says, “Let peace rule your heart,” – “stand firm in the Lord,” – “pray without ceasing.”

 

Just WHAT DO YOU THINK we HAVE BEEN trying to do?

 

THEN, there are the scripture verses that people want to throw at you:  2 Timothy 1, Isaiah 40, Isaiah 41, Luke 12, Joshua 1, Psalm 55, Psalm 91, Psalm 23, and Matthew 11.  Read these, study these, pray about these, and it will ALL be better.

 

But as for me, I want to scream with the disciples on the top of my lungs, “Rabbi, do you NOT CARE that we are perishing?”

 

Look over here.  Come to my aid.  Lord, in your mercy…SAVE ME…HELP ME…REDEEM ME, now…

 

WAKE UP!  I need you…

 

Please…

Amen.