So, if you’ve ever hung out with me, you know I run hot. Not hot as in high speed, although I do that too. And not hot as in looks, because, bruh… I’m old and I’ve befriended WAY too many tacos. I run hot meaning that I am usually hot. Like, warm, you know? I walk outside in the summer and I immediately look like I just exited a shower fully clothed. It’s ridiculous. Seriously. Ridiculous. I guess it’s just the way I’m made. I’m like Pastor Tenny and his fan. I actually have to pack one wherever I go. Otherwise I run the risk of being miserable. Most people know, I say all the time: Man oh man, I’m HOT.
I’m REALLY hot in the Summer. Actually, I am hot in the Spring too. I can even find myself working up a sweat when it’s a beautiful fall day running at 60 degrees and breezy. And yep, you guessed it. I’m hot in the winter too. Funny thing is, people get cold, I hear? So they TuRn Up tHE HEaT like they’re cooking a Christmas ham… in the living room. It’s just too much people, c’mon.
But I get it some people are cold. No, no… not like mean, cold. I mean cold as in, well, COLD. All the time. They’ve got to wear sweaters most of the year - and usually for the same (but opposite reason) I’m hot in the winter. People run their AC in the south like they’ve got ice cream on the couch and they got to keep it from melting. So… I get it.
I know I know. Get to the point Matt.
Well, I am hot. MOST of the time. Like 99.99999999% of the time. But today I was walking to a coffee shop to meet some of the people I had scheduled appointments with, and I thought, man, it’s kind of chilly out. Where did fall go? Oh well… AND THEN OUT OF NOWHERE A MIGHTY RUSH OF WIND COLDER THAN ANTARCTICA AT ITS WORST drowned me in frigidity almost taking me to my knees. It might have actually knocked me down to freeze to death right there on the Waverly Walk had I not already grabbed the door handle of the coffee shop. Upon arrival into the store, heads turned rapidly toward me as I had inadvertently also allowed, by merely opening the door, that avalanche-to-be to crush all of the patrons in the back immediately sending several to close their coats and simultaneously cooling everyone’s’ coffee. Needless to say, they weren’t really happy to see me.
The funny thing is, life’s like that isn’t it? Normally, like 99.9999999% of the time, I’m pretty good. Life is fine and I - as I say a lot - am LIVING the DREAM. Not like life isn’t eventful, right? I mean, I’ve got 5 kids, a really fun but super challenging life calling and I like spending time with my amazing wife and friends. All that to say, though, I’m wired in such a way that I have very little drama in my life.
BUT. Every once in a while I get hit OuT oF NowHerE by an overwhelming, very frustrating something. I would venture a guess that you do too. Thinking back over one of the scriptures we looked at recently, I was struck in a new way by what happened. In Mark 4, Jesus is, in the boat, asleep on a cushion, a storm rolls in, and all H E double hockey sticks is breaking loose around him. And it came out of NOWHERE. Completely hits them unprepared. The disciples are FREAKING out and the Lord of all creation is AHHHHSLEEEP. Seriously. Sleeping. HOW? WHY? I have all kinds of questions. But that’s only part of the point of the story.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The Lord OF ALL CREATION is IN the boat. Not beside it. Not floating above it. Not somewhere ELSE. Nope. RIGHT. THERE. IN. THE. BOAT. Jesus never leaves the boat. Write that down somewhere, you’ll need that at some point.
Then, the scriptures tell us:
He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. (Mark 4:39 NIV)
And now, the great crescendo, the capstone/pinnacle/zenith of the blog…
Jesus didn’t stand up to talk to the winds and the storm to make them quiet down.
Jesus could’ve done that in his sleep.
Jesus stood up and rebuked the wind and storms so that WE would KNOW he is PRESENT in the midst of them.
Look, I know I’ve said this before. I’ll probably say it again and again and again. Not because YOU are forgetful, but rather, because I am. I need to hear it. I need to know that Jesus is here ESPECIALLY when that cold wind blows and knocks me down. I need to know that Jesus is here when I’m lost and without direction, tired and incomplete, frustrated not just when I am full of joy.
JESUS is HERE. For you, for me, for us all.
So, sisters and brothers, when that cold wind blows in this season of your life, and it just about KNOCKS you DOWN, remember WHO calms the storms. Remember he NEVER leaves the boat. And remember, most of all, that Jesus is PRESENT even in the most frigid ones.
Lord, God of creation, stay here with me. Just this hour, just this day, just this moment. Right here. Comfort me when I cry out. Help me keep from getting knocked down. And when I do, calm the storm in my life. Calm the storm in me. You, Jesus, deserve all honor and praise. You Jesus are king of all creation. Amen.