The BackDoor Bible Series
The Journey - Lesson 8
(The Mast in the Disciples Fishing Boat)
Once upon a time long ago there lived a little tree named Selma that lived near a big lake. This lake was famous for its good fishing and Selma used to watch all the fishing boats come and go each day. Now back in those days, boat motors had not been invented yet so people would use sails on their boats to catch the wind and make their boats go. Selma liked to watch the boats catch the wind and go speeding off across the lake.
Once Selma saw some men walking by and she overheard them talking. They said that a good fishing boat needed to have a mast that was tall, straight and very strong. Selma hoped someday she might be grow tall, straight and strong enough to become a mast on a fishing boat. So Selma worked very hard at growing strong, straight and tall. And do you know what? It worked, for Selma grew up to be one of the straightest trees in the forest. And just as she had hoped, one day a man came, chopped her down and made her into a mast for a beautiful new fishing boat.
Now Selma really enjoyed sailing, she would hold her sails up proudly as they would catch the morning breeze each day and pull the new little boat out into the lake. See everyday except Saturday, the fisherman would come early in the morning, raise Selmas sails and sail out to the middle of the lake. There they would drop the sails and start to fish. By noon each day, whether they had caught enough fish or not, the fisherman would once again raise the sails and head back to shore. Selma learned that it was important to sail back to shore each day at noon because on this lake violent storms called squalls would often come up in the afternoon. Everyone knew that squalls were bad news for little boats because the violent winds in a squall could snap a boats mast in two. But Selma's fisherman were cautious and wise, so Selma was never afraid.
Now one warm afternoon after a full morning of fishing, Selma was just having her sails lowered when a group of about a dozen men approached her boat. For a minute they spoke to her crew of fisherman and then without any warning climbed into her boat. Selma was feeling just a bit irritated that her owners had let strangers get aboard, but she really got concerned when the men started pushing her back out into the lake. She tried to yell stop but of course trees can't talk so the men continued to push. A cold chill went Selma's long spine when the men raised her sails and pointed her into the wind. You see Selma realized that they where taking her out. Out onto the lake in the afternoon…
The afternoon wind was much stronger than Selma was used to and she had to work hard not to bend too much as the little boat gathered speed. A few other boats had followed them but since Selmna was the straightest and best mast around, the others were not able to catch her little boat. As she sailed, Selma had a few minutes to look down at the men who had borrowed her. She counted them this time and there were actually 13.
Twelve of them were in the front of the boat all talking about something. The thirteenth, had gone to the back of the boat apart from the others and was now sleeping on cushion back there. Selma wondered where this group was going for they didn't seem like they were interested in fishing.
As she finished counting the men, Selma looked behind her for the other boats that had followed them. They had fallen far behind and she could barely see their masts above the waves on the lake. As she tried to look over the waves, Selma thought that something wasn’t quite right. She was about to say, "Waves shouldn't be that big" when it dawned on her what was happening, a storm was approaching. As soon as she realized it, she quickly turned and looked ahead. What she saw made her almost faint with fear, … for there dead ahead was the huge black cloud of an afternoon squall.
As the fierce winds of the squall hit the boat, all the men started to yell in fear. Most were holding on for dear life since the boat began to shake violently. A couple of men where bailing water with their hands since the waves were now so large that they were breaking over the side and into the boat. Selma strained against the wind but was now bent way over, for in their fear, the men had not taken down the sails. As winds pushed her more and more she started to cry for she felt sure that at any moment she would break under the pressure. Now as she strained with all her might, Selma happened to glance down into the back of the boat and there lying on the cushions was the thirteenth man. And he was still asleep!
Some of the other men were struggling to get to him and as they did they began to yell "Master, Master, save us, we're going to down,!". On hearing this the man woke from his sleep, sat up and replied "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?". Then he stretched and looked about. Selma thought it quite odd that the man did not seem to be the least concerned by the storm. One of the men must have also noticed this for he said "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?".
At hearing this the man stood up and Selma got a good look at him. He was not a handsome man nor did he have the look of a master or a teacher. She wondered how a simple man like this could save them from the storm. Yet as she watched the man turned, looked up into the storm and spoke 3 words. He said , "Quiet!, be still" …..(pause)… within seconds, the winds ceased to blow .. and the waves disappeared … and the lake became totally … calm.
As Selma straightened herself up, all of her fear left her. Who is this man, she wondered, that he speaks to the wind and the waves and they obey him. She also thought about what the man had said to his friends about them not heaving much faith. It was almost as though he was disappointed in them for being afraid. despite the storm. She wondered, were they supposed to realize that he was aware of the situation even though he was asleep? Was is possible that he was in control of their lives even when the storm was at it's worst?
As they sailed home that day on a quiet sea, Selma listened to the men argue over who this man must be. She decided that only God can tell the wind what to do and if this man was able to do that he must be God. She also figured that if God was in her boat, then there was nothing she needed to be afraid of.
by David C Klem .. Copyright 1998
Kids, do you know what the name Selma means?. It means "Protected by God". The Bible tells us that God is always protecting those who love him. But we must also understand that God does not keep us away from problems. Instead he allows us to be exposed to some problems that can be scary. The disciples were afraid of the storm but Jesus did not let it really hurt them. See, God wants us to trust him and learn to have faith that he can protect us even if when we can't see him. The problems he lets us have help us to learn to rely on him instead of ourselves.
"Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. Psalm 91:14 (NIV)