There are times in life when we find ourselves up against things we would far rather not face; and when that happens we may struggle to understand God’s purposes. God has really spoken to me about how to deal with times like that through a passage of Scripture in Mark 4:35-41.
Jesus was on the shores of the Sea of Galilee; and as He often did when the crowds were pressing in, He had spent the day teaching from a fishing boat just off shore. When evening came He said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” They left immediately; but when they were halfway across the lake, a furious storm came up with waves so high they began to break over the boat, causing the fishermen to believe that they were all going to drown! Verse 38 reveals their panic. “Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?"
Isn’t that so like us when we’re feeling swamped or overwhelmed by life? When the unexpected happens we also wonder, “Lord don’t you care about me?” And our enemy is quick to whisper in our ear: “He must be asleep! Surely He is not concerned about you!” But what does Jesus do in this passage of Mark’s Gospel? He responds to His disciples’ cries, speaks to the storm, and brings perfect peace!
There is a lot we can learn from this! The disciples were obedient to Christ’s will. They were carrying out His command to cross the lake; but did that guarantee them a smooth ride? Apparently not! Did His presence in their boat make them incapable of fear? I don’t see any evidence of that either! And that really comforts me! Their experience shows me that even when we follow the Lord and are obedient to His commands, we too may face many things we would far rather not face. There may be times when we are afraid and wonder why things have gone the way they have. We may even question whether we heard Jesus right or not in the first place. Storms will come to all of us; but as we cry out to Him He will come to our aid and He will bring a peace that is no ordinary peace.
If you read the rest of the story in Mark 4 you will find that after Jesus stilled the storm the disciples were amazed and cried out: “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” Why did this cause the reaction from them that it did? The Old Testament taught that it was only God Himself who could still a storm to a whisper. When Jesus spoke and the waves obeyed it suddenly became evident to the disciples that Jesus was doing something only God Himself could do! Christ used this trial to reveal Himself to them in a deeper way than He ever had before, and as we call on Him in our time of trial He will not only bring us peace, He will reveal Himself to us in new ways also.
© April 2019