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Fish and Storms

Shane Willard

Page 5 of 10
3) Unexpected crisis exposes a lack of faith - a weak point maybe we need to deal with. Sometimes we might think we have faith, until we face something bigger than it. There's this incredible story about Jesus and the disciples - this storm comes up, and Jesus is sleeping. The disciples wake Him up, and they say: don't You even care if we perish? Don't You even care if we perish? In the Hebrew version of that gospel, this is what it says: Don't You even care if we're eternally separated from God - which is a bit of an exaggeration don't you think? But in the middle of the storm, we tend to overreact. We tend to be irrational. We tend to make something big out of something small. All kinds of things start going on physiologically.

I've told you this before, but it bears repeating. In crisis and moments like that, if we get angry, or panicked, or anything like that, an enzyme is released in our brain,, and it tells all the blood to go to our major muscle groups to prepare for a fight, or to run. When that happens, we lose 25 per cent of our IQ. When you lose 25 per cent of your IQ, you're really close to retarded! You can't make a decision. You can't complete a sentence. You do things that, when you look back on it, you go: what in the world was I thinking! If you're here tonight and you're married, and you get in an argument and things escalate, both of you get angry - essentially you have two mentally-retarded people trying to solve a problem.

It's bad!

So the fish and the storm, they: make us deal with who we really are; they change the value of things; they expose a lack of faith. What about when we someone else is going through something, and we see the faith they exhibit? It's moving! Think about the last person you knew who fell unexpectedly ill, but even in the middle of a disease, they used words like: I just feel peace; I have joy; I have confidence. That's moving, and it motivates us. It motivates us to do what? It motivates us to put our list away. Have you ever seen something on TV, or heard someone's story, and it made you think: what am I complaining about?

I saw a guy on Dr Oz the other day, and he didn't have health insurance, which in America is a real problem. He didn't have health insurance, which means he couldn't afford treatment; and it started out with a little lesion on his lip, and then it kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger. Finally, when he was on Dr Oz, this thing was like this on his mouth, and it was lip cancer. It was cancer in his mouth right there, and you should have seen this guy. It was not fixable by the time he got there. I saw that, and I thought: what am I complaining about? There was a woman - my dad runs a grief group. My dad's wife, her daughter died very prematurely. She died of a brain tumour. She was diagnosed on a Friday, and she died on a Monday - it was that quick - my stepsister, and so as a result they now minister to people in grief. So they run this grief group, to help people deal with the pain of grief, and try to get them internally healed, and help them deal with the emotions involved in that.

There was a lady in my dad's last grief group that had lost four of her five children, and you look at that and go: that's not normal; and you think: wait a minute, I might need to put my list away. I was in Port Elizabeth, and there was this single mum, and we were handing out food. We ran out of food to hand out, and this lady came and we had no more food. I told her, I said: listen, we have to find you something, so I was looking through everything, and I looked through everything. What I found in the back somewhere was a quart zip lock bag of peas, and that's all I could find. I came out, and I handed her this quart size zip lock bag of peas - tears welled up in her eyes. She had six children behind her. Tears welled up in her eyes, and she said: thank You Lord, we can eat tonight. I thought to myself: what's on my list? What's on my list? There's always stories. There are these motivational speakers - have you seen the guy with no arms and no legs that can make a sandwich? Pretty cool!