He calms the storm
And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!” Mark 4:41
Jesus did several miracles that involved the natural elements during His earthly ministry. He walked on water, turned water into wine, and He fed a multitude with five loaves and two fish. The miracle of nature in Mark chapter 4 is when Jesus spoke to the storm and calmed the sea. The passage starts out by Jesus telling the disciples they were going to cross over the sea to the other side. On the way there, they encountered a storm and water was filling up the boat. The disciples tried by themselves to handle the situation but were unsuccessful. Finally, they called on Jesus who, by the way, was sleeping in the back of the boat, not disturbed at all by the storm. Jesus got up and spoke to the natural circumstances and the storm was calmed. After that, the disciples were really afraid because they realized there was an even stronger force in the boat with them than outside of the boat in the natural elements.
Most of us are familiar with this account, but there are a few details that I want to call attention to. The first is that they were actually experiencing three different storms at the same time. The first was the outside forces of wind and water. The second was their emotional distress. Thirdly, they had a spiritual dilemma and began to question where Jesus was in their storm. Jesus gave them His word at the very beginning of the trip that they were going to the other side of the lake. When the storm came up, the disciples never even considered that Jesus already gave the a “word” and that they would make it to the other side.
Once again, this incident can be compared to any crisis you may be facing. When you are in a “storm” you navigate through it the best you know how, even though fear threatens to get on you every time you check out the most recent developments of your crisis. Along with the turmoil, the questions inevitably come “Where is God in all this?” And like the disciples questioned “Doesn’t He care about my problem?” The answer to that question is the same answer it was for the disciples. When they called on Him, He calmed their storm. We don’t need to wait until our “boat” is full of water, we can call on Him right at the beginning of any struggle. However, most of the time He will calm our inner storm first. If the disciples had remembered the word Jesus gave them before they even got into the boat, they would have found peace there. They could have said to one another, “Don’t worry, Jesus said we were going to the other side. He doesn’t lie!”
Today I want to encourage you to drop three anchors that you have available to you in whatever storm you are facing. Cultivate God’s presence through worship! Spend some time basking in His presence with worship music and lift your hand surrendering every area of your life to Him. Remember the promises He has given you in His Word! Psalms 119:81 tells us to hope in His word! Spend as much time (if not more) in God’s Word as you do getting updates on the “storm.” Understand God’s process . . . He wants to speak peace to your heart in the middle of the storm. Romans 5 says our trouble is producing something in us. The crisis is not for building your character, it is for revealing where you need to grow and to strengthen your character. Cooperate with God’s process and what He is accomplishing inside of you during this “storm.” Now there is room for peace right in the middle of the chaos!
Today’s scripture reading: Mark 4:35-41
35 On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.”
36 Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him.
37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling.
38 But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”
39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.
40 But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”
41 And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”