Lesson Forty Six
A VERY BUSY NIGHT
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I’m in the midst of a storm today. What about you?
I’m reminded of a time long ago when I visited a friend in Hawaii. The ocean beckoned. The sky was blue, the clouds perfect, and we ventured out not too far from the shore. All of a sudden, and I mean completely unexpected, the winds picked up, the waves grew, and the ocean became a fury.
My friend, a decent swimmer, swam parallel to the shore with little effort. I, an inexperienced swimmer and definitely not ocean-proven, turned to see a 12-foot wave above me. It slammed me to the bottom into the sand. With little time to recover, another one came behind it.
Sometimes life feels like that. Things are good. You feel great and then suddenly there’s this 12-foot monster that smashes you into the pavement. Instead of it being a one-time event, it continues to pummel you physically or emotionally or both.
There’s all kinds of storms in life.
There’s all kinds of storms in life. Health storms, aging parent storms, interpersonal relationship storms, evil and sin related storms, work storms, toddler/teen storms, and so many more that assault us. Wave after wave pounds us until we become weary, discouraged, and disheartened. We cry out to God for relief.
My storm today reminded me of an old hymn—“Master the Tempest is Raging.” I sang it as I made my breakfast. It’s message spoke to my heart and my soul.
“Master, the tempest is raging! The billows are tossing high!
The sky is o’er-shadowed with blackness; No shelter or help is nigh.”
But the message in that song is the same one in our lesson this week. Jesus is in the boat. It may feel like He’s asleep. You may cry for Him to do something about the storm, but it continues to rage. Yet the focus we need is that Jesus is in the boat. He’s there to master the outward storms, but also the inward ones. He’s there to guide, protect, inspire, and comfort. It may seem He is silent, but He’s there.
It may seem He is silent, but He’s there.
The waves were furious, and I’ve not known fear like that before. Just as suddenly as the waves appeared, an older Hawaiian man appeared behind me. With a firm grip he grabbed my waist, and spoke clearly into my ear. “I’m going to throw you toward the seawall. When I do, swim, and don’t look back.” Suddenly I found myself thrown forward and I went straight for the wall. It was a race between my arrival at the ladder and the next wave which would certainly slam me into the concrete.
I climbed to safety, just as the next wave crashed within seconds.
Like all miracle stories, there was no man to be seen. No one on the wall saw him and neither did I to thank him. It’s a reminder though, that Jesus is in my boat. He was then. He is today. He’ll do for or send whatever I need as long as I continue to serve Him.
He’s in yours too. Lift up your heart. Be renewed.
The end of Matthew 7, Matthew 8 and the first part of chapter 9 deal with Jesus’ authority. Matthew uses the Greek word exousia, which means “authority,” nine times in his gospel. Of the nine, five appear in this section alone.
We learn that the crowds are amazed at His teaching with authority (7:29), the centurion recognizes Jesus’ authority (8:9), Jesus declares that He has authority to forgive sins (9:6). He has the authority to command nature (8:26), to command demons (8:29-32); and to heal sickness and disease (9:2-6).
We are challenged to either accept His authority in our lives because we recognize that He has authority over everything. The alternative is to reject Him and by doing so reject everlasting life and salvation. We need to humbly seek Jesus as did the leper (8:2) who said, “Lord, if you are willing . . . “ or as the centurion who said, “Lord, I am not worthy . . .”
Making it Real
If you do not know the song, “Master the Tempest is Raging,” I encourage you to listen to it this week. Even if you are not in a storm, it will thrill your soul to be reminded that Jesus is, and always will be, in the boat. As the song says, no storm can swallow the ship where lies the Master of ocean and sea and skies.”
Merle Poirier writes from Silver Spring, Maryland, where she works as the operation manager for Adventist Review and Adventist World magazines as well as the designer for KidsView, a magazine for 8-12-year-olds. She enjoys spending time with her family including being a grandmother to two active little boys, who greatly enjoy Starting With Jesus, and a granddaughter, born in 2023. She is blessed to have all three living close by, continually bringing joy and delight.