Facing Storms – A Sermon on Matthew 14:22-33

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Have you ever been afraid of water? When I was a kid I had a terrified awe of the swimming pool. We lived in this big old house near Detroit, Michigan, and it had an in ground pool in the back yard. I was fascinated with the water, but I was terrified of it. My mom would take me into the water, but I would grab onto her and scream bloody murder when she would try to take me under. Now, that’s pretty embarrassing for a 15 year-old. Just kidding. I was around 4 or 5 at the time. I would spend most of my time clinging to the edge of the pool and watching the other kids splashing and laughing and having a good time.

One evening it happened. I remember this moment like it was yesterday. It was dark and the lights were on in the pool. I was climbing down the ladder to get into the water. The ladder was shiny chrome – pretty slippery stuff. My foot slipped, my body fell, and sploosh, I was completely under the water, eyes wide open, staring into the light in the side of the pool.

In that moment two thoughts simultaneously flashed through my mind. The first was, “I’m not dead!” And the second was, “this is so cool!”

From that moment on I was a free man. I was doing cannon balls off the diving board, having under water breath holding competitions with my cousins, diving to the bottom of the deep end. It was awesome.

Water can be a scary thing. Have you ever noticed that water seems to be associated with the most severe storms. I can’t get that image out of my mind when the tsunami swept away a huge chunk of the Japanese shoreline. Or seeing images of thousands of houses in Minot up to the roof line in water. Just a couple weeks ago as we were driving to the airport to go on the Missions trip, it was raining so hard that we couldn’t see the buildings of the city from 94. I thought, “we could die right now.”

If you’ve ever been on a lake or the ocean during a severe storm, then you know how scary water can be. In the ancient world, the sea was associated with the god of chaos. They believed that from the beginning of time the amorphous, destructive, unpredictable power of chaos was battling against all that was good and right and orderly, trying to tear it apart.

Chaos. Blown about by forces greater than you. Feeling helpless, like a leaf, battered about by the wind.

Have you looked chaos in the eye lately? A sudden death? What you thought would be a routine trip to the doctor turns out to be a diagnosis that rocks your world? After years of marriage your spouse announces, “I just don’t love you any more and I’m leaving.” The home you raised your children in and thought would be your nest egg loses all its value and you get the foreclosure notice in the mail? A friend betrays you?

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  • Chrissy Petersen August 10, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    It truly is all Wind and Waves…having the strength and courage to know that Jesus will be here with us all, through all of it…well, I suppose that’s called FAITH. It’s amazing how much I needed to hear this message…your timing was perfect :)

  • Morrie Turner June 30, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    MAN!! From preacher to preacher, I most say, you taught this lesson on point!!! Very inspirational message! GLORY TO GOD

  • fani August 24, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    thanks for this wonderful summon.

  • bosco August 6, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    Thanks for the ‘good stuff’ You are bookmark worthy!

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