Monday, May 1, 2017

The Storm

Mark 4

Jesus and the disciples had been ministering all day,  and they were tired.
Jesus instructed the guys to get on the boat, 
they were going to the other side. (v. 35)

Getting to the other side is not as simple as just saying, "Ok, let's go."  
Getting to the other side may require certain skills, necessary maturing, perhaps even knowledge that can only be acquired by way of a storm.  

Only God knows what lies on the other side.  

"A furious squall came up, 
and the waves broke over the boat 
so that it was nearly swamped." (vs. 37)  

Here's the thing about storms, 
they brew invisibly,  
pop up unexpectedly, 
and threaten to overtake quickly.    

The perfect setting for an invasion of fear!

These fishermen probably had seen their share of storms, don't you think?
However, this one seems to have been quite the storm for they were afraid they were not going to make it this time.

Just like the fishermen, storms are bad no matter how many you've been through.  And, honestly, each feels worse than the one before.  Sometimes, you've just been through so many storms you wonder if you even have the strength to make it through another.

Where was Jesus all this time?  
Wasn't He in the boat with them?

 "Jesus, where are You?"

"Why would You ask us to get on the boat if You knew about the storm?"  

We can be doing exactly what we were called to do,
doing the will of the Father,
yet be smack in the middle of a storm, 
second guessing whether we heard God right.

"Did He really ask us to board this boat?"

He was in the stern.

Was He tired?  Oh, yes. 
He had been ministering all day long.  

But, didn't He hear the rumbles of the storm?  
Wow!  He can sleep through anything.  

Fear works like a load full of caffeine.  

The disciples were tired, too, but they couldn't sleep,
afraid of the storm raging around them,
afraid the water was coming into the boat,
afraid they were all going to die.

Jesus, however, knew the storms were subject to Him, 
He wasn't subject to the storm.  
Jesus knew the storms weren't taking anyone out that day; 
it wasn't the time.  
He also knew this storm was strengthening their faith 
and their knowledge of Him, skills they would need on the other side.

You see, Jesus knows things we don't.  

Well, you know how the story goes?  
Freaking out, the disciples find Jesus, 
wake Him up, and desperately 
"fill Him in" about the raging storm.  

Have you ever seen a boat full of frightened fishermen?
Must be a sight for sore eyes, and a sound for sore ears.

Jesus wakes up and rebukes the sea and the disciples!  


Who is this man that even the winds and waves obey Him? (v. 41)

On another occasion, when Simon Peter's faith is tried and tested in another storm, this time no water involved, but the fear of death was similarly
all too real.  

Jesus encourages Him and says, 
". . . I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith will not fail"

You see, sometimes it's not that we don't have faith, it's just that we have allowed the storms to wash away the little faith we had.  We resolve in our hearts, this time the storm is just too strong, and we surrender, 
wave the white flag. "We're done!"

Just like Jesus prayed for Simon Peter's faith to remain strong in the midst of the struggle, He prays for us, "May her faith not fail."  Luke 22:32


When the storm subsides and the winds fade, 
when You assess the damages, even through the debris,
may You find us, and our families,

Remind us there is a purpose for the storm.
We don't understand or necessarily care for it on this side, 
but may our faith be anchored in tightly,
believing that it will all be worth it on the other side of the storm.

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