Asbury United Methodist Church
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May 4, 2017

Have you ever considered that the most dangerous places on earth are made safe because Christ is there?

            I was reminded of this fact earlier this morning while reading about Jesus and the boys crossing the Sea of Galilee. You may remember the story where out of nowhere, without warning a furious storm came up causing the waves to sweep over their little boat (Matthew 8:23-24).

            Of all ironies, Jesus is asleep in the back of the boat. The disciples are losing it! “Lord save us!” they say. “We’re going to drown (Matthew 8:25 NIV).”

            I have always wondered about why Jesus was sleeping. Maybe he was just that worn out. After all, he’d just gotten done healing a leper, the servant of a Roman soldier, Peter’s mother-in-law and many others.

            Matthew takes great pains to quote the prophet Isaiah, “He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases (Matthew 8:17 quoting Isaiah 53:4 NIV).”

            If I had been Jesus that day, I would have been worn out too. On the other hand, maybe Jesus was just at peace with God, knowing that his heavenly Father had all things handled.

            Maybe it’s a wee bit of both. What I do know is that this would not be the first and only time that what appeared to be the most dangerous situations possible turned out to be the safest because Christ was there.

            King David weighed in on the matter too. He wrote, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me (Psalm 23:4 KJV).”

            Even the valley where we see shadows of death are a safe place because Christ is there. And, the news gets even better:

            For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 7:18-19 NIV).

            There was an old tale in one of those Chicken Soup for the Soul books years ago where a mother was awakened in the night by a fierce thunderstorm. Quickly she ran to the bedroom occupied by her small son.

            The mother just knew that her son was terrified because of the storm. As she entered the room she was stunned to see him standing in front of a window with the curtains opened.

            When some lightning flashed, the little boy turned to his mother and said, “God just took my picture!”  Maybe children know what we could have forgotten, that even danger is safety as God is present.

            The apostle Paul told the Colossians, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts…(Colossians 3:15 NIV).”

            Have you ever considered what that peace of Christ ruling our hearts might look like? Well, I have a few ideas.

  1. The level of my unease will be less. Maybe we would all be less tormented by our failures and less likely to wring our hands.
  1. Maybe we’d not be in such a hurry so much of the time.   Yes, it is quite true that we are busy people but I wonder if in our harried pace of life if slow is actually fast.  
  • For example, do we make so many mistakes being in a hurry that it costs us valuable time correcting them? If we moved slower and more methodical, would this actually be quicker?
  1. Would we be less burdened by guilt?
  1. Would we be less likely to say so many foolish things because the presence of Christ has allowed us to think more deeply about matters?
  1. If we had more of the peace of Christ, would we trust him more and in turn become more generous? Would we be less likely to hoard?  
  1. Would we have more joy because we have learned to focus less on self and more on others?

            I say all the time that self is boring! Self will never be large enough to hold our interest for long at the time. We need a broader scope in life than self in order for joy to be complete.

            Find a selfish person and you’ll find somebody who is board out of their mind; and, they are very likely to do some very crazy things!

            Today is a good day for the lights to come on! Today is a good day to realize that paradoxically, the most dangerous situations on earth…are also the safest…because Christ is there!

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