That, to the unknowing young folks hung up in computer games, is a sample of what we once called (at least in ancient days) a nursery rhyme. It’s a fossil of our childhood from back in the ‘good old days’. That’s what our parents supposedly abused us with at night to put us to sleep. Remember? Who Killed Cock Robin, Three Blind Mice, London Bridge, Rock A Bye Baby, Row-Row-Row Your Boat, and stories of The Tortoise and the Hare, The Ant and the Grasshopper– I still remember parts of all those.
This fall, we’re closing in on choosing our next President. No matter how it turns out, about half of the people in America will be thrilled and just a little less than half will more than likely be upset. The election process will probably leave us divided and frustrated no matter who wins. Generally speaking, the election will not “fix” things that need to be fixed in this country, or for that matter, around the world. For sure the questions that need to be asked won’t be, and the subjects that are critical to our future, for the most part, will go unmentioned. We’ll have a leader, but he or she will not really control this country or the world. In some way, we’re all in the same boat like the three mentioned in that rhyme: the ones either thrilled and the angry, the candlestick makers, bakers, butchers, teachers, professionals, construction workers, the ‘right and the left’, the believer and non-believer. All headed together to our common destiny. What we do to get to our destination will make a huge difference in what we find when we finally get there. In spite of being encouraged that we are simply higher animals than the lower animals, life just doesn’t happen to men and women, life happens in relationship to people’s actions. Life, well lived, takes skill and carefulness, wisdom and patience, character and planning, focus and goal setting, all features that our political leaders threw out the window a long ago. Life as the Father would have it for us requires that our eyes must be opened; not a life of walking around as though our eyes were closed. A contrast of living in the Light versus existing in darkness.
Beginning at Mark 4:35, the Biblical text describes a moment the disciples were in a boat, crossing ‘to the other side’ when a violent storm began. This was not just rough seas; this was a killer storm. The disciples feared for their lives and they cried out (like all us good disciples), waking up Jesus who was sleeping in back of the boat. “Don’t you care that we are perishing?” In other words, “Jesus, do something about this, don’t you understand!” Please correct this, don’t just watch this happen, do something now before we perish! Jesus in turn rebuked the storm, enforced Peace and asked the disciples, “Why are you so fearful, how is it that you have no Faith?”
Jesus could release Peace because he had Peace. It was the place he stayed. Peace was not something that occurred occasionally in his life, it was something that was always there. Sleeping in a storm was not a problem. Jesus knew that where God is present, Peace is present. There’s no fear in Heaven, no faithlessness there because He is there. Jesus lived in the knowledge of that same Peace in the here and now. His heart was established in Peace. That Peace is not the absence of everything terrible; it’s the presence of Someone! Knowing God was with him provided all the Peace he needed no matter the trouble. All Jesus needed to know as he entered that boat was that God had told them to go to the ‘other side.’ Knowing that was enough for him to sleep in the middle of that storm. Knowing the Will of God for our lives gives us the comfort of God, the Shalom of Heaven. The disciples knew “going to the other side” was God’s purpose for them, and knowing that, they could have ‘calmly’ gone through the storm that raged. As for the storms challenging our boat, can we ride those out in Peace? If we’re following the instructions of our heart, why should we fear because it’s rough? Who holds our hand?
If we will do the Life thing, the right thing, we will get to the place we’re to go, no matter what seems to obstruct our way. We may experience pressure, we may have to pay a price, but if our goal is in the Purpose of God, in the Will of God, if it’s done with the right heart attitude, we’ll get there no matter what happens along the way. Actually, seems to me, when we set high spiritual goals to walk toward, that always brings storms before we get to any Godly destination.
Once the disciples reached that ‘other side’, they ministered to a man full of unclean spirits. In effect, a man was changed because they did arrive to their destination. Had that storm stopped them, the Glory of the ‘other side’ would never have happened! There was a storm; it was a ‘perfect storm’ because it had perfect results at its end.
If our hearts (and this country) embrace the Will of God, and His Purpose, we will get through this present storm. We have huge domestic problems and dangerous international problems but the biggest problem of all is the hearts of men set against God’s purpose. The spirit of Anti-Christ is at work in the earth. But this country, and I believe it was by the vision of God, was set in a boat and told to go to the ‘other side.’ We were sent to live in freedom unlike any other people before or since. We have moved in the earth to spread freedom to others, to enjoy liberty for ourselves and share the joy of liberty around the world. We were purposed to set men and women free. Mark’s perfect storm was not about the disciples; it was about their future.
Yes, we’re all in the same boat, but the Gospel is not just simple potential, it is revealed Reality and Truth. It’s not just a way to look at the world, it’s the way God looks at the world. Our Faith doesn’t affect the effectiveness of God, but our Faith can make the journey more powerful and for sure more comfortable. ‘Agree with God and be at Peace.’ (Job 22:21) If we will remain visionaries in ‘God’s ways’ we will get through and past the storm. We will find our purpose on the other side of our journey. If we will do that, the storm will not destroy us. We can Rest; we can be in His Peace. We are able to not cry out in fear. Because He is present we will be able to calm down and trust; we will get to the other side simply because we will remember He told us to go! As a country, if we fail to do that, fail to return to our original and higher purpose, I think we might be looking at a re-occurrence of Paul’s ship wreck. Hopefully, we will sail to our future like those disciples, safely reaching their purpose. Failing to look to His purpose for America, we might have to swim to our future rather than sail in our three-man tub.