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Looking toward Heaven

Monday, March 16, 2009

by Dr. Paul Chappell

“But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy. And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm.”

Luke 8:23–24

Sometimes the Lord calms the storm; sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child.

I once read this story about the last few hours of a five year old boy’s life: “A nurse with whom I worked, named Gracie, took care of this lad during the latter days of his life. He was dying of lung cancer, which is a terrifying disease in its final stages. This little boy had a Christian mother who loved him and stayed by his side through the long ordeal. She cradled him on her lap and talked softly about the Lord. Instinctively, the woman was preparing her son for the final hours to come. Gracie told me that she entered his room one day as death approached, and she heard this lad talking about hearing bells. ‘The bells are ringing, Mommie,’ he said. ‘I can hear them.’

“Gracie thought he was hallucinating because he was already slipping away, and said to his mother, ‘I'm sure you know your baby is hearing things that aren't there. He is hallucinating because of the sickness.’

“The mother pulled her son closer to her chest, smiled and said, ‘No, ma’am. He is not hallucinating. I told him when he was frightened—when he couldn't breathe—if he would listen carefully, he could hear the bells of Heaven ringing for him. That is what he's been talking about all day.’”

In the midst of all that was going on, this little boy had fixed his eyes on Heaven and was ignoring the pain filling his body. Rather than crying out or giving into fear, he looked to God to welcome him home to Heaven.

What if you were in that little boy’s position? How would you react? I’m sure many of us would be fearful and uncertain, but the peace of God filled such a young boy to the point that he ignored the pain.

In any fearful time, it is easy to focus on the pain and uncertainty around us rather than focusing on Christ. Notice today’s verses. The disciples were so focused on the storm around them that they failed to realize the Creator of the storm was in their boat.

What trial or fearful time do you have in your life? Is it a life direction, a lost job, a tight budget, or the pain of a wayward loved one? Don’t allow yourself to focus so much on the problem that you forget that Christ is in your boat. He is on your side and is working everything for your good. Take time now to be with the Lord. Allow Him to calm the storm in your life by focusing your heart back on Him.

To find out more about Pastor Paul Chappell visit his blog or follow him on twitter.

To learn more about the ministries of Lancaster Baptist Church and Pastor Chappell, please visit

Daily Bible Reading
Deuteronomy 28-29 • Mark 14:54-72