June 27, 2021
Pastor John Hering
This man declares: I am weary, God. I am weary, God, and worn out, 2 because I am too unreasoning to be a man. I do not even possess human understanding. 3 I have not learned wisdom. I do not have knowledge of the Holy One. 4 Who has gone up to heaven and come down? Who has gathered the wind in the palms of his hands? Who has wrapped the water in a garment? Who has set up all the ends of the earth? What is his name and the name of his son? Tell me if you know! 5 Every word of God has been refined. He is a shield to those who take refuge in him. 6 Do not add to his words. If you do, he will correct you, and you will be shown to be a liar.
I used to do this with Tommy and Hollie Clark—my childhood friends. We had a field about two blocks from our house on Glade Ave. We’d ride our bikes there and find a nice patch of grass and look up at the sky—day or night! During the day the soft Oklahoma winds would steer a few clouds across the sky. Those big puffy clouds would glide along whether you were watching them or not. I remember watching one afternoon when those clouds got dark and heavy, the winds picked up and we knew we’d better get home quick before we were caught in a storm as the powerful thunder rolled in the distance.
I used to do this with my parents in my younger teens. We’d go down to South Padre Island in October and dig our toes in the sand and watch the waves rolling on to the shore in the constant breeze of the Gulf of Mexico. The waves would come rolling in whether you were watching them or not. But, if you were going to board a Cruise ship you better be paying attention to the reports of whether there was a powerful hurricane brewing in the Gulf or not! It wouldn’t be safe to sail!
Did you notice that our readings for today talked about wind and waves? Both are such powerful forces. We can admire them when it’s safe, but we fear them when they’re dangerous. Now, can you connect my introduction to life as Proverbs 30 does? We are living in the wind and waves of life all the time, whether we’re watching or not. Take your heart beating right now. I don’t usually think about my heart beating, unless my heart jumps up to tachycardia while I’m working out and I wonder if I’m being warned of a heart attack! I don’t think about the cells in my body much, until the doctor says I have cancer. Neither do I think much about the meal I sit down to eat. But, the global economy has more to do with my meal than I realize. How about we call the veggie farmers in California and ask them if they’ve had any rain lately? How do you suppose their drought is going to affect my tomato prices in the coming months? Do you remember what all you were thinking about last year at this time? Wash your hands! Wear your mask! Stay a safe distance from people! You probably thought about it a lot two years ago, but today you’re probably not thinking much about it.
We call it life. But, there is so much to life that is out of our control that we take for granted every day in clouds, wind, health and food. So, what can we do with those things that are beyond our control? Proverbs 30 is thought provoking as God challenges us how to view the powerful circumstances in our life that are beyond our control. Life happens. Faith in God meets fear and worry. Therefore, may the Holy Spirit guide us to
View Circumstances Beyond Control in Christ
Learn When To Stop
The Gospel lesson in Mark speaks of the disciples bouncing around the wind and waves in their boat. At what point would you say the disciples crossed the line? The storm came up. Jesus was sleeping. Was it wrong for them to be bailing out water? Was it wrong for them to have all hands on deck? Was it wrong for them to lower the sail and brace themselves to smash into each new wave? I’d assume they were doing these things rather than put God to the test by doing nothing! However, they crossed the line by what happened next: “Jesus himself was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. They woke him and said, “Teacher, don’t you care that we are about to drown?” (Mark 4:38). I know we don’t like to wake people up when they’re sleeping but they were desperate! They were in a situation they couldn’t control. The Proverb captures their heart: “I am weary, God. I am weary, God, and worn out, 2 because I am too unreasoning to be a man. I do not even possess human understanding. 3 I have not learned wisdom. I do not have knowledge of the Holy One.” They were weary. They recognized they were in a situation beyond their control. They were doing their best to deal with it. But, what else was eating them alive? To them it appeared that Jesus was doing nothing and didn’t care about them!”
This is what we’re talking about today. Yes, we have Scriptures that tell us to avoid being be lazy, to use the brains God gave us, to use the resources and skills God gave to us, to be a blessing to those around you—all good things. But, it’s the other part of our heart that rips us up on the inside. There’s a storm in my heart! In troubling times there is a part of me that doubts God is paying attention to me. It calls God’s care into question, just like the disciples did. That’s the time to STOP! Repent. And be turned to the Lord and his forgiveness.
Dear Christian friends, there is a boundary, a stopping point, a forbidden territory to avoid at all costs! We are weary. We can’t figure it out. But, we don’t have the knowledge of the Holy One! Therefore, we must stop and never blame God! I know—we don’t say it out loud, but that’s what our heart is really doing. We see the “out of our control” problem and WE want to work to bail ourselves out with our solution. STOP! “4 Who has gone up to heaven and come down? Who has gathered the wind in the palms of his hands? Who has wrapped the water in a garment? Who has set up all the ends of the earth? What is his name and the name of his son? Tell me if you know!”
Yes, STOP! Because our circumstance are out of our control, but they are not out of God’s control. When facing these challenges of life the Proverb calls for a steady clear answer: God! God! God! Worry and fear may seem like passive emotions, but they are at a tug-of-war with God! However, what happens when we stop pulling and start trusting? God holds the rope, the circumstances of your life are in his hands just like he does for all creation. For you, his dearly loved child, God sends wind and waves, trouble and test in your life for something good. Worry and fear take the other end of the rope and bang it against God’s throne to wake him up as if he didn’t care at all. Stop! Then View the Circumstance Beyond Your Control in Christ! Christ knows our situation. He has complete control.
Just imagine the Lord Jesus on his knees in the Garden of Gethsemane as the prayer kept falling from his lips, “Not my will, but yours be done!” Jesus knew his circumstances—Judas was heading his way; Soldiers were ready to capture him; Enemies were eager to destroy him; Pilate would sentence him to death; The cross and nails were waiting to be pounded into his hands. The punishment of hell was going to be poured over him by his Father! Troubling times? Out of control? Stop! What you could never do, Jesus did for you! Jesus had perfect, complete trust in his Father’s plan of salvation for you and me. This was God’s way to redeem us back to himself. This was God’s way to proclaim forgiveness for all our sins! This was forgiveness for all who received God’s gracious gift through faith in Jesus! “Who has set up all the ends of the earth? What is his name and the name of his son? Tell me if you know!” You know! It’s Jesus. Stop doubting and believe! Jesus has all our circumstance in his complete control! Then enjoy God’s Control and
Learn When To Go
Worry and fear need to stop, but trusting in Jesus needs to go forward! Where shall we go forward to? Go to the promises of his Word! “5 Every word of God has been refined. He is a shield to those who take refuge in him.” Carrie Underwood sings “Jesus Take The Wheel.” Does that make you nervous? Another childhood memory was my dad letting me drive for the first time. He didn’t take me out on I-40 and say, “Ok, drive!” No, he drove me to a large, vacant parking lot at Putnam City West High School. I don’t recall taking offense at this because he knew I needed to start slow and build my confidence in driving before hitting the road. When Jesus takes the wheel it is time to go! Why? Because he has given you hundreds of promises and testimonies in his Word regarding his love for you! Sit secure in God’s car seat because he is “a shield to those who take refuge in him!”
Why is it so important that we put our confident in God’s Word? Listen, “6 Do not add to his words. If you do, he will correct you, and you will be shown to be a liar.” When we GO off on our own plans and places without confidence in the Lord God, then we’ll be just like those disciples bailing, scrambling, panicking and in need of correction. God will reveal that while we might have confessed Jesus with our lips, our hearts were lying. Rather, let us remember to lay out our best plans according to God’s Word and then pray, “Lord, your will be done!”
Let’s GO to Proverbs 30 to apply to our life. Don’t be surprised when you get what you ask for. God makes wonderful promises, and his promises assume a few things. God promises protection—we assume there will be times of danger. He knows the dangers of your life and wants to shield you with His Word. God promises aid—we assume there will be times of need. Remember when you feel unguarded that he sends his angels to watch over you. God promises forgiveness—we assume there will be sin when Satan comes to tempt us that God doesn’t love or forgive us he points us to the cross of Jesus who died to pay the penalty of all our sins. God promises life—we assume there is going to be death. So when the day comes that we face the winds and waves of life and death we have confidence in Jesus our Lord and Savior. “He is a shield to those who take refuge in him.” Go often to the promises of God who has the Circumstance of our Life in his Complete Control in Christ.
Whether you’re watching or not the wind and the waves of life, they are happening. Your heart is beating and life is happening whether you recognize it or not. But, we have come full circle! When tempted to run away from God—STOP! But, GO, run to the promises of his Word! Why? Because you know 4 Who has gone up to heaven and come down? Who has gathered the wind in the palms of his hands? Who has wrapped the water in a garment? Who has set up all the ends of the earth? What is his name and the name of his son? Tell me if you know! Thanks be to God you know it’s Jesus! Jesus is your powerful shield against the fears, doubts and worries that come with circumstance you can’t control. I don’t know how it’s going to work out for you today. But, Jesus does. I’m not wise to the specific purpose and plan God has for you today. But Jesus is. So STOP. Run away from fear and doubt. And GO! Run to Jesus who has complete control over all the circumstances in your life. Entrust all your circumstances to Jesus—he’s got the wheel! Amen!