By Arch Hoercher
One thing is for sure in our lives upon this planet, storms will come. These storms could be weather related such as severe thunderstorms or hurricanes or tornados. These storms could also be emotional and personal such as an illness or a death in the family or divorce or trouble with our children or financial in nature. Whatever these storms are, one thing is for sure, they will come. How will you respond to these storms when they rear their ugly heads?
There is a story in Mark Chapter 4 that gives us an answer. Mark 4:35-38 (NIV), “That day when evening came, He said to His disciples, ‘Let us go over to the other side.’ (The other side of the Sea of Galilee.) Leaving the crowd behind, they took Him along, just as He was, in the boat. There were also other boats with Him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that is was nearly swamped. 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?’” Here we have the disciples doing what Jesus had asked. They were sailing to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. I say sailing, because Evenrude had not shown up yet and the only way that a boat could be propelled through the water at that time was by sailing or by rowing. They were being obedient to Jesus’ wish and guess what? A storm comes along. Not just your everyday storm but as my Grandfather Daugherty would have said, “A real donnybrook”! This storm threatened to turn their wooden boat into a pile of kindling. They were overcome with fear!
You would have thought that since they were being obedient to Jesus’ wishes they would have had smooth sailing all the way across to the other side. But they didn’t. Even though they were being obedient, the storm came anyway. Jesus never promised them that there would not be a storm. He did say that they would get to the other side. The disciples were in full panic mode. They were in fear of their very lives. What all the disciples failed to realize was who was in the boat with them. They knew that Jesus was there (asleep and not caring if they drowned) in the stern of the boat. What they did not understand or did not realize who was actually in the back of the boat. They did not understand that the Son of God was asleep in the stern. The Son of God said that they were going to the other side of the Sea of Galilee and that is what would have happened, storm or not. They saw the storm in fear not in faith. Not understanding the very nature of who was asleep in the stern. Jesus knew that a storm was coming, he was not worried about it. He took his cushion and went to the back of the ship for a premeditated nap.
Something we need to understand and the disciples did not understand at this particular time is explained in John 10: 27-30 (NIV) where Jesus said, “My sheep (all Christians) listen to my voice; I know them (by name), and they follow me (willingly). I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” In Deuteronomy God said that He will never forsake His people. What the disciples failed to understand and that we often do not believe is that Jesus Christ will never leave us. He will always be there in the middle of our storms. Actually that is not completely true because He is ALREADY there even before the storm hits. He will never turn His back on us. He will not abandon our ship when the storm hits. He IS there and will always be there.
The disciples are afraid that they will all drown. So what do they do? They wake Jesus up and ask in frustration and fear, “Don’t you care anything about us? We are all going to drown!” Jesus then said to the wind and the waves the modern day equivalent of, “Shut up!! Knock it off!!” And in that very moment the wind ceased and the sea became as smooth as glass. He then said to the disciples in Mark 4:40 (NIV), “”Why are you so afraid? Do you STILL have no faith?” And yes, the disciples still had little faith for in verse 42 (NIV), “They (the disciples) were TERRIFIED and asked each other, ‘Who is this? Even the wind and waves obey him!’” Well, I will tell you who He is. The disciples finely figured it out at a later time. He is God almighty, the great I AM, and the Creator of all things. He spoke the universe into existence with a word. He has power over His creation – even the wind and the waves.
When the storms come and they will. Do not be afraid. Fear only looks at the wind and the waves. Faith looks at Jesus. No matter what you are going through, Jesus is there. He will not abandon ship and leave you to the storm. He will get you over it or will get you through it. He loves you with a love that caused Him to die a painful and tortuous death on a cross. He will never abandon you. He will never allow anything or anyone to snatch you from His hand. You are secure in His love and grace forever – which is a very long time.