Scripture Reading: Exodus 25:1-26:37 / Mark 4:30-5:20 / Psalm 23:1-6
A story is told about a Christian army officer who was at sea with his family. A great storm arose and everyone was terrified but he was calm. His wife chided him for not showing concern for her and the children, let alone his own life in the face of danger. He did not reply but left and returned with his sword drawn.
With a somber countenance, he pointed the sword at her heart. She was not a bit alarmed and looked into his eyes with a smile. He questioned, “What, are you not afraid of a drawn sword at your heart?” “No, she replied, “Not when I know it is in the hands of the one who loves me.” He responded, “Then why should I fear the tempest when I know it to be in the hand of my heavenly Father who loves me?”
The disciples found themselves in the midst of a great storm as they crossed the Sea of Galilee. Jesus had just finished a long day of ministry and crossed the Galilee to escape the crowd for some rest and peace. The Sea was 600 feet below sea level and subject to violent winds and storms would sweep down over the cliffs. While crossing the water, the winds howled and the boat rocked. The disciples were fearful but Jesus slept.
Water began to pour into the boat and the brave disciples were paralyzed by fear while the weary Jesus remained asleep. When the storm had reached a point of sure destruction, the frantic disciples woke Jesus from His slumber and asked, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” (Mark 4:38) It is amazing that the storm, howling winds and crashing waves did not stir or wake Jesus but He arose to their cry of panic and distress. Jesus is always aware of our condition and plight in life.
He was about to calm the storm and also calm their souls. “He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.” (vs.39) Nature bowed to the authority and rebuke of Jesus. The howling wind became a gentle hush; the crashing waves became still and serene.
When we are on the ocean of life, it is a comfort to know that Jesus is on board. The world may laugh at Christianity when the sun is shining but their attitude changes when tempests arise. In order to have Jesus with us in the midst of the storm, we need to seek Him and welcome Him aboard when the sun is shining. When Christ is with us, it isn’t always “smooth sailing”. Life and satan will rise up against us yet His presence always calms and overcomes every storm.
At times, we think Christ is sleeping and indifferent to our pain and suffering. Like Peter, we can question His care, love and control. He asked, “Don’t you care if we drown?” Years later he wrote, “He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7) We don’t need to fear or panic, even if Jesus sleeps. Many of His silences we can explain, others seem to be unresolved but someday all will be understood…He won’t let us drown!
Pastor James Clark has pastored Calvary Assembly since 1985. He is blessed with his wife Yvonne, six children, two son-in-laws, a beautiful granddaughter and hopefully many more grandchildren to follow!