“O Lord God of hosts, who is mighty as you are, O Lord, with your faithfulness all around you? You rule the raging of the sea; when its waves rise, you still them. You crushed Rahab like a carcass; you scattered your enemies with your mighty arm. The heavens are yours; the earth also is yours; the world and all that is in it, you have founded them.” – Psalm 89:8-11.
We have been looking at the miracle of Jesus calming the wind and the waves found in Mark 4:35-41. Jesus was on a boat with his disciples when a storm hit them. The disciples panicked because they were afraid the boat would capsize, and they would drown. They woke up Jesus who was asleep and Jesus told the wind and the waves to stop. “And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.”
I hope you did not miss the introduction or setup to this story. Mark 4:35 says that after preaching by the sea, Jesus told his followers, “Let us go across to the other side.” It was Jesus’ idea to cross the sea. The sea that would, in a few hours, be hit by a storm that made the disciples fear for their lives? The journey was His idea.
It is safe to assume that most, if not all of us, have had a storm or storms in our lives. As a result, we know what storms are like. Maybe your storm was in the past, maybe you are going through a storm right now, or maybe there is a storm on the horizon. In any of those scenarios, our first inclination is to manage as best we can to minimize the damage. So we try to fix, work, perfect, smile, try harder, master, get over it or get through it, while the storm lasts.
But that is not the mindset of the disciples. They are in a sinking boat. They wake Jesus in the hope He will help them. But here is what you need to remember: Jesus knew there would be storm. It’s not like Jesus said, “Ok, guys, let’s go!” and then a few hours later He said, “Oh, sorry about that guys, my bad…I had no idea this storm was coming.” No. Just like He knew it was time for us to cross the sea; He knew a storm would meet us somewhere in the middle, and He planned on being there in it with us.
Faith in the Lord is not an automatic thing. It is something that we must choose to exercise, often in the face of overwhelming circumstances that seem to scream at us, “God doesn’t care about you. He doesn’t even exist or you wouldn’t be in this storm.”
But He is in it. With you. The journey was His idea, so we can be confident that if God said go, and we went, He is with us. He’s always there, even though sometimes it seems as if He’s not. But often He waits until we are at our wit’s end so that we sense how great our need really is. But even before the disciples called on Him, Jesus was there with them in the boat, going through the storm with them. He has promised, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5). And Romans 8:38-39 reminds us, “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
- What has helped you survive the storms in your life? What did you learn in the process about yourself? About God?
- The better we know the Lord, the better we can trust Him. Agree or disagree?
- The bigger the storm, the more the Lord will be glorified when we trust Him. Agree or disagree?
- What can you do to better prepare for storms this week?