Today’s Reading: Luke 8:22-39 (additional reading: Psalm 70:1-5 & Proverbs 12:4)
There was a Wendy’s commercial somewhere back around 1970. In that commercial, this little old lady goes into one of the competitors hamburger joints and gets a hamburger. When they give it to her, it has two big buns and a little tiny piece of hamburger. She looks at the man and with a very nasty look on her face, she says, “Where’s the beef?” That line caught on quickly and everyone in America started saying that about everything. But the trouble is that story is very true. It seems the world promises us much, but when we go to get it, it delivers very little.
There was another such line in the movie “Forrest Gump.” In that movie, Tom Hanks, who played Forrest Gump, was sitting on a park bench sharing chocolates with another person and in a deep philosophical moment, he said, “Life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re going to get.”
No matter who you are, or what age you are, you can look back over your life and see that he was telling the truth. Life is not all sweet and good, is it? Your life can be changed from one moment to the next, and that change can throw your whole world upside down and turn it inside out.
What we can see from today’s reading is that storms don’t make appointments, they just turn up. The Sea of Galilee is about 600’ below sea level and is surrounded by very steep table rock mountains. The ravines that carry water down the sea, act as wind tunnels when there is no water, and by the time the wind hits the water, it is ferocious. So, it can be clear and calm one minute, and within about 10 or 20 minutes, be embroiled in a raging storm that has waves whipping around at 20’ tall. That is what the disciples encountered as they crossed the sea with Jesus aboard.
Now, to show you how bad the storm really was; the disciples were professional fishermen. Yet, they were so scared they thought they were goners for sure. That storm gave no early indication of arriving, and the storms in your life will not call you ahead of time to see when it would be best for you for it to come over. They will be totally unexpected. We need to be prepared before a storm hits us so that when it does, we will not be caught totally off guard. It is vital to our safety that we learn how to rely on God for the fix to all of our problems, especially those found in a storm.