By Eld. Prasad
35 And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side. 36 And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. 37 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. 38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? 39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? 41 And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him? Mark 4: 35 – 41
The crises of life have often been compared to stormy seas. They come upon us whether we like it or not and they terrify us. They knock us around and threaten to destroy all our stability and security. We neither know whether we can survive them nor do we know how long they will last. At least, that’s how a storm at sea would be for most of us.
The Sea of Galilee is 680 feet below sea level and is surrounded by hills. Winds blowing across the land intensify close to the sea, often causing violent and unexpected storms. The disciples were seasoned fishermen who had spent their lives fishing on this huge lake. However during this particular thunderstorm, they panicked because the storm threatened to destroy them all. Theirs was a physical storm, but there are other types of storms – think about the situations that cause you great difficulty and anxiety. Whatever difficulty or anxiety, you have two options: You can worry and assume that Lord Jesus no longer cares, or you can resist fear, by putting your trust in our Lord Jesus Christ. When you feel like panicking, confess your need to God and then trust the Lord Jesus to care for you. As Mark tells the story, the disciples were terrified that the boat was going to break up and everyone would die. But Lord Jesus was asleep, apparently oblivious to their pending doom. They awoke Him and cried, “Master, carest thou not that we perish.”
Of course, Lord Jesus does care and quiets the storm with the words; “Peace, be still.” How would the disciples have responded if they had faith? They would not have awakened Him and asked if He cared. They would have trusted His very presence to keep them safe. Stormy circumstances are inevitable. Although our first reaction may be to run from the problem, we can instead ask God to teach us how to trust Him to navigate us through the storm. Storms in our lives don’t worry our Lord Jesus. He’s right there with us during our storm, but He’s perfectly calm. The Lord Jesus isn’t impatient and neither is He worried. In fact He’s so calm that He slept! When we are troubled and the Lord Jesus is silent, we wonder why on earth God doesn’t get up and do something. We start to wonder whether He even knows the trouble we’re in, whether He cares, and whether He even can do anything about it.
After their brush with death, Lord Jesus doesn’t comfort, but he rebukes the disciples, “Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?” Why were the disciples still terrified even after the Lord Jesus calms the storm? Their fear was not produced by the storm, but by the calm. The sudden storm and sudden stillness were too much for the disciples to understand. They were in wonder and fearful of the Lord Jesus who possessed authority to rebuke the wind, waves and themselves.
“What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” The disciples lived with the Lord Jesus, but they underestimated Him. They did not see His power applied to their very own situation. The Lord Jesus has been with His people for a very long time, and yet we, like the disciples, underestimate His power to handle crises in our lives. The disciples did not yet know enough about the Lord Jesus. For us Christians, we cannot make the same excuse.
Some of the lessons in the story are obvious. The Lord Jesus has power over the storms of life, and experiences them alongside us, loves us, saves us from them and wants us to trust Him more than we do. Like the disciples, we the children of God believe the Lord Jesus is there in every storm of our lives. In the disciples’ case, they could actually see Him lying there asleep. We don’t have that privilege. We believe He’s there, but most of the time He seems just as asleep as He was during that stormy day on the Sea of Galilee. The psalmist had the same grief in Psalm 44:23-24: “Awake, why sleepest thou, O Lord? arise, cast us not off forever. Wherefore hidest thou thy face, and forgettest our affliction and our oppression?”
The application to our lives is that: “Ye, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4). We too can rest in faith during the storms in our lives. Our boat isn’t going down, because the Lord Jesus is on board.
When the disciples faced trouble, they ran to wake up the Lord Jesus. Maybe, like the disciples who were struck in a life-threatening storm we too should run to the Lord Jesus. Sometimes we may try to bail ourselves out of trouble by seeking revenge, slandering the one who has caused our problem or just cowering fearfully in the corner as we sink into despair. We need to learn from the disciples who fled to the Lord Jesus as their only hope. He may not bail us out immediately, but remembering that He is always with us in the storms of life, saying things like “Peace, be still.” So, look for our Lord Jesus in our storms and let Him fill us with the peace that comes from knowing He is near. So in our prayers, when we are tempted with fears, let’s ask our Lord Jesus to give us His rest of faith, and let us worship Him who commands all manner of winds and waves.
In conclusion let’s ask ourselves: What would we do when we are stuck in a troubling situation, say, poor health, terminal illness, money problem, job problem, marital problem, or family problem – with nowhere or no one to run to? Are we tempted to respond with fear rather than faith?
The Lord Jesus hears the cry of His children, the born again Christians. To be born again means you confess you are a sinner heading for hell and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, the saviour and son of God, who died on the cross for all your sins and arose from death after three days and ascended to heaven. When you accept the Lord Jesus Christ as your saviour and invite Him into your heart, you become a child of God. As a child of God, the Lord Jesus will hear your cries while you are in a storm and one day when you leave this world, you will live eternally with Him in heaven. Are you a child of God? May the Lord Jesus Christ be our first option when the storms of life threaten us.