So often we end up like Peter- stepping out of the boat, only to take our eyes off of Jesus and start sinking! At which point we quickly call out to God to save us, which He always does; we are then left wondering why we ever took our eyes off of Him in the first place.
Mark 4:35-41 tells us the following story- "And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side. And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?"
There are five things that stuck out to me in this story-
1. Jesus led the disciples into the storm! Chew on that for a minute! There are times in our lives when God will lead us into a storm, simply to test and strengthen our faith. However, I'm so thankful that He never abandons us in the storm! (Now, I'm not saying that God creates every storm that we go through. There are some things that happen that God does not orchestrate; for example, school shootings, terrorist attacks, etc. However, God is always in control of the storm, He can always teach us something through the storm, and He does all things well.)
2. Jesus was asleep during the storm! Remember this- God is never in a hurry, but always on time. Jesus wasn't sleeping because He didn't care about the disciples, or because He wasn't aware of what was going on. He was simply allowing them to learn a lesson!
3. The disciples actually had the audacity to ask Jesus, the creator of the universe, if He cared that they were dying! I don't know about you, but I'm sitting here thinking- "Come on guys, of course he cares! Besides, do you think you are actually going to sink with Jesus in the boat? I mean, what's He gonna do; watch you go down, and then go water-walking? YOU GUYS HAVE LOST YOUR MINDS!"
Yet how is it, that we are so often the same way? We are conscious of the fact that God will never fail us, and yet we lose sight of that fact in the moment that we need God the most!
4. Jesus calmed the storm, but only after the disciples gave up in desperation and asked Him to! Wow! How many times do I struggle through storms longer that necessary, just because I don’t surrender and ask God for help?! Now, I'm not saying that God will immediately calm the storm in the circumstances, but He will always calm the storm in our heart and give us peace if we allow Him to.
5. In the end, the disciples still didn't understand who Jesus was! That's unbelievable!!! They went through the entire storm and saw Jesus do a great miracle, only to say, "What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?" How often are we just like the disciples? We go through a great storm, ask God to help us, see Him work in a mighty way, and then act shocked that He was powerful enough to answer our request? After all, He's God!
In this story, though, there is one thing that caught my attention above everything else. After calming the storm, Jesus asked the disciples, "Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?" Tomorrow, I will post what I believe to be the answer. It's one of the most freeing, life-changing truths I have ever learned!