Mark 4:37-38 And a great storm of wind arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him and said to him, "Teacher, do you not care if we perish?"
Christians often use a kind of shorthand to talk about our lives of faith. We speak of remembering our baptism. We speak of drowning the old nature. We speak of our new life in Christ. We speak of beginning and ending each day with God. And having said these things, we assume that everyone knows what they mean and how it is done. Perhaps its time for a brief review.
My favorite way to begin is with scripture, and by scriptural beginning is from Psalm 118 and it occurs right after the passage Psalm 118:22 The stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner. Which of course is about Jesus, and how he is the foundation of our faith, and of the church. Our response to the good news that Jesus is our foundation, and our Savior is Psalm 118:24 This is the day which the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Jesus is the reason why we can rejoice and be glad each and every day. But there is a great gap between knowing the reason why, and actually being able to rejoice and be glad . So let's unpack this a little further. The chief thing that prevents us from rejoicing and being glad this day, are the things that happened yesterday, and many days before - we often carry these things with us, and they bring us down - and these things that we carry with us is quite simply the burden of sin, its guilt and its shame. Scripture tells us, that if anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). Our problem is that we usually donít see who we are, or we forget. But if we can see who we were, that is if we examine ourselves and see our sin, then we can hear the word of good news, that Jesus blood washes away all our sins, that we are forgiven, redeemed, and a new creation, a child of God. This is ours, not because we confessed, not because we repented, but simply because Jesus really did die for our sins. And because it all depends on Jesus, the peace and forgiveness that we need to rejoice and be glad every day, is sitting there waiting for us to receive it. So that the best days, are always the days when we receive the gifts of God in Christ at the beginning - and let them prepare the day for us, rather than doing what often happens - when we remember to turn to God only in the day of trouble, only when we are really in need of rescuing, for then we fail to see that God has been there all along, its only we haven't had the time for him, or room for him.
In our lesson we see this played out in the lives of the disciples, they were fishermen, they were good at their jobs, they knew about boats, they knew about the water, and they were very much doing their thing. They were do into doing there thing, that they really sort of forget about Jesus, so much so that Jesus goes to sleep in the boat, and only when they have done everything they can, and it still isn't enough, that they turn to Jesus with the plaintive cry for help - don't you care that we are perishing ?
That's often the way our lives are, its as though we learned the scripture - call on me in the day of trouble - and no one told us that this was not the only time we should call on God, for God teaches us to call on him at all times and in all places - but sometimes we are so busy, we forget to call on him until we are in real trouble, until we have done all we can, until we realize that we cannot save ourselves - and only then will we turn to God and rely on His deliverance.
But imagine what life would be like, if instead of waiting till there is real trouble, we began the day with God, and continued they day in God - is there anything that would overwhelm us, if we knew that God was really with us? It won't happen over night, it takes years of practice. Not because the salvation God has prepared for us in Christ is somehow lacking - but simply because we forget how important it is, to daily drown our old sinful human nature. For it is our old sinful human nature that keeps try to trust in our reason and strength, and keeps us from remembering that our Savior has been with us in the boat all along, just waiting for us to have time for Him.