Mark 4:1, 35-41
Life is sometimes compared to stormy seas. Any sailor or fisherman will tell you that storms are part of life for those who are at sea and their families. No matter how hard they try to avoid them, they come.
There are storms and difficulties in every human life, whether we like it or not. They may terrify us, scare us, and threaten our security and life, and we may feel as though we are sinking in a black hole; desperation may set in.
You and I, like the disciples, may feel discouraged and helpless and, in desperation, we may wonder whether God really cares what happens to us.
Jesus and His disciples had had a full and fruitful day. People had come for help and, because the crowd was so great, Jesus had to use a boat as His pulpit. He taught them spiritual lessons from the world of nature by using parables.
Some of the parables He told were:
* The parable of the sower
* The parable of a lamp on a stand
* The parable of the growing seed
* The parable of the mustard seed
A very busy day had ended and yet Jesus was still teaching. But this day was going to close with an adventure. It was a day the disciples would never forget.
Finally. Jesus turned to His disciples and said: “Let us go over to the other side.” (v. 35) What reassuring words: “Let us go over.” Our journey will be a safe passage when we travel with Jesus.
The Christian life is like a journey. We may not be sure and we may worry when He calls us to follow Him. Not knowing whether we will be able to walk the walk, we may hold back.
But when we decide to travel with Jesus, He goes with us the entire journey, Jesus guarantees safe passage to heaven to those who travel with Him.
Now, let’s look at the rest of that day’s journey. Jesus and His disciples started across the Sea of Galilee toward the eastern shore. Suddenly, a violent windstorm came up and huge waves threatened to swamp the boat.
The disciples were in trouble, tossed by the huge waves and in danger of being drowned. Yet Jesus was sleeping in the stern of the boat.
You would have thought that the disciples, of all people, were the safest. Jesus was in the boat with them! They were obeying Jesus, yet the storm came. They were travelling with Jesus, yet the storm came. They were in the center of His will, yet the storm came.
Storms come to us all. Being in Christ’s service does not exempt us from storms and problems. While we are in this world we will face many storms. But why did Jesus allow the storm to come? Jesus knew it would come. He could have avoided it or sent it away, but He chose to go through the storm with His disciples. Jesus does that.
“The disciples went to Jesus, woke him up and said to Him: “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”” (v. 38)
Then Jesus “got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet, be still.” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.”
The storm actually helped the disciples to measure their faith. Jesus asked them: “Do you still have no faith?” They learned that Christ is with us even in storms. They also learned that He is able to deal with any situation.
Yes, we will go through afflictions and storms. Problems are part of life. Jesus does not promise exemptions from the normal storms of life. But these storms teach us many precious lessons that we would otherwise never learn.
Let’s not forget that, being human, we will face storms such as accidents, sickness, disappointments, death.
Of course, it is easy to say a prayer before and after a storm. But, what about when we are right in the middle of a storm? When the waves are breaking and there is water in the boat, when the noise of your circumstances threatens to drown out the prayer of your lips?
If faith in God works, it better work then! And yes, faith in God works! As the disciples learned, there is nothing like a good storm to add life to your prayer. We all go through storms but, while we are in the middle of a storm, sometimes we panic. We know that Jesus, God Himself is with us, but just the same we worry and panic and question and doubt. I do! Do you?
But God is there and He knows our problem and He cares. He is there to help. Jesus is there to rebuke the storm and say: “Peace, be still.” He is there to bring calm into your life, into my life.
To the question the disciples asked: “Who is this? Even the storms obey Him,” the answer is: He is the one who invites us to travel with Him. He is the one who goes with us through the storms. He is the one who is able to deal with all storms.
Is Jesus travelling with you in this journey called life? He is the only one who can calm the storms in your life. He is the only one who can give you peace!
Pastor Joseph Hovsepian