We’ve all experienced a thunderstorm. Lightning, followed by loud claps of thunder, dark, looming clouds, strong gusts of wind, all in the midst of rain, sometimes torrential rain. We can feel at the mercy of the storm- out of control, afraid, and hoping it’s wrath will not be unleashed on you.
It’s ironic how the “storms” we walk through in life can feel eerily similar to a storm of nature. We find ourselves in a situation that is out of our control, we’re desperate and afraid. Does anyone see me? Does anyone care? Jesus, do YOU care?
This was the exact question the disciples asked Jesus in Mark 4:35-41. While traveling across the Sea of Galilee, a sudden storm arose and the disciples found themselves in a scary situation. “And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he (Jesus) was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” (vs 37-39).
Let’s back up a little here and makes some notes on who this Teacher, this Jesus, really is. Proverbs 30:4 and Colossians 3:15-17, both talk about Jesus being involved in creation and the One who holds it all together. Isaiah 7 and Matthew 1 both talk about a virgin giving birth to a Son and this Son will be called “Immanuel”, which means God with us. In previous chapters of Mark, we see Jesus healing a paralytic (chapter 2) and a man with a withered hand (chapter 3). In Mark 5 we see Jesus healing a man possessed by a demon. A demon! That’s intense. We also see Him heal a woman who had been bleeding for 12 years. And to cap off the chapter, Jesus goes ahead and raises a little girl from the dead. In Mark 6, Jesus feeds 5,000 people with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. Obviously, this Jesus is more than the new Instagram hotness. He’s God.
But, let’s just be straightforward, the disciples didn’t realize who was in their boat. They had just witnessed Jesus perform miracles and they would continue to witness more. But, when it got personal, when they found themselves in the middle of a raging storm, they didn’t believe. They didn’t have faith in Jesus’ authority over their situation, let alone His authority over all things.
So what does Jesus do? Well, He wakes up to their accusation, stretches out His hand (my imagination stepping in here), and says, “Peace! Be still.” That’s it. Three words and BAM, immediate calm. He then turns and asks the disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” (vs40).
It’s easy to attack the disciples, but honestly, I’ve found myself in the same boat- questioning and doubting whether Jesus is aware of what I’m going through, at the same time mocking His authority by lacking faith in the Creator of all things. I’m so consumed with my situation, my problem, my hardship, my storm that I lose sight of Who is present with me. The same Jesus who was with the disciples, is with me. The same One who spoke the world, including the sea (Gen 1:9), into existence, is with me. I forget. I don’t see clearly. I place my faith in other people, other solutions, even myself and my abilities.
Guys (and gals), life isn’t easy. Stuff happens (as they say). A loved one gets diagnosed with cancer, you lose your job, a fire burns down your house, your child is injured, or maybe you battle constant physical pain. Life isn’t always a walk in the park, calm and sunny with birds chirping. And yet, Jesus is worthy of our faith because He has all authority. It doesn’t mean our situations are easy or enjoyable or fun, but that doesn’t change who Jesus is, nor does it change how we should respond—by walking in faith, confident and secure in the One who is sovereign over it all and loves each of us deeply.
Philippians 2 says this (I would recap it, but it’s too good), “Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore, God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Chelsea and her husband have been married for 10 years and both of them serve with the Jesus Film Project in Orlando, FL. Together they have 3 boys, Isaiah, Asher and Uriah. Chelsea enjoys spending time with family, friends, working out, traveling, and going to the beach.
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