Have you ever felt like you are in the middle of a raging sea, getting beaten and battered by the storms of life? Every time you come up to catch a breath, you are knocked right back down again, even deeper into the heart of the sea, often leaving the feeling that you’re going backwards. When we find ourselves amidst the raging storms and engulfing sea, it can be hard to get our bearings let alone figure out how we’re going to get out.
Today we’re going to take the opportunity to read a story you’re probably pretty familiar with from Mark 4 about the storms of life. Although I pray that you see through new eyes as we read this passage from The Passion Translation. Starting in verse 35….
35 “Later that day, after it grew dark, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross over to the other side of the lake.” 36 After they had sent the crowd away, they pushed off from shore with him, as he had been teaching from the boat, and there were other boats that sailed with them. 37 Suddenly, as they were crossing the lake, a ferocious tempest arose, with violent winds and waves that were crashing into the boat until it was all but swamped. 38 But Jesus was calmly sleeping in the stern, resting on a cushion. 39 So they shook him awake, saying, “Teacher, don’t you even care that we are all about to die!” Fully awake, he rebuked the storm and shouted to the sea, “Hush! Calm down!” All at once the wind stopped howling and the water became perfectly calm.” 40 Then he turned to his disciples and said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Haven’t you learned to trust yet?” 41 But they were overwhelmed with fear and awe and said to one another, “Who is this man who has such authority that even the wind and waves obey him?”
Wow! What a story… So after teaching all day, Jesus decides to crossover to another part of land in their boat. Although I want to add that I believe the timing of his plans were no coincidence.
Based on our prior knowledge of storms, we know they typically do not just appear out of thin air. I remember when I played soccer growing up, we would have storms often, especially around practice times it seemed. Whether just another spring rain or a pop-up shower in heat of the summer due to the high humidity, we typically were playing in Kentucky so there weren’t any mountains around. Thus we could watch the storm getting closer and closer as the sky got darker and there was always a distinct breeze prior to the downpour.
Therefore such can suggest that day as Jesus and his disciples loaded the boat (beyond the notion that the Lord knows all), meteorologically Jesus probably looked up and saw it was going to storm.
But notice he didn’t run and hide from it. Instead, he walked into it, trusting the one who created and is far bigger than any storms themselves… I think he also did such to teach his disciples a lesson that we can take to hear as well. It’s not a matter of if the storms are going to come. They will come…. But HE is with us…. Not on the shore… Not in the sky… But in our boat, ready to speak his truth and provide us the peace of his presence when we call. It may not be in the timing we would like. But his ways are always best.
Are you willing to humble yourself and ask for Jesus, Lord of all, healer, protector, our comforter and provider, to walk into the middle of your storm to help you? We can have complete faith that no matter how bad the storms may appear from the surface, he will not let us drown… As he asked his disciples, “Do we trust him?”