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Sunday, October 05, 2014

When Storms Come

Jesus with his disciples on the Sea of Galilee...
Jesus with his disciples on the Sea of Galilee, Ernst Georg Bartsch, 1967 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Not too long ago, I wrote on Facebook: Most people are either in a storm, coming out of one or about to enter one. Little did I know that I was about to enter one. This past week, one of my sons suffered a vicious knife attack and was fortunate to escape with a wound to his leg and a cut on his forehead. As you may well imagine, I was, and still am, shaken over this incident. To think that you can be in danger of losing your life while going about your normal, everyday business is frightening.

This is the thing about storms; they come upon us unawares, when we are busy, when we are tired, when we need to rest or to concentrate. We are never prepared for a storm. Jesus had been teaching and preaching to large crowds all day, so when evening came and He said to the disciples, "Let us go over to the other side," (Mark 4: 35), they must have been glad to get away from the crowd and all the clamor and get to a place where they could rest. But it was not to be.  "A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped" (v 37).

The disciples were afraid and they called on Jesus who, get this, was asleep on a cushion. Mark doesn't say it, but from their words it seems the disciples' fear turned to anger. "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?"(v 38). You know the rest. Jesus got up, rebuked the winds and the waves and the storm ceased. And then He did something else. He rebuked them. "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?"

But then the story takes a strange twist.  They were terrified and asked each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!"(v 41). They were not afraid because Jesus rebuked them; they were afraid because the wind and the waves obeyed Him. Despite all the miracles and all the preaching, they didn't really expect that Jesus could calm the wind and the waves. 

That's where the test of our faith comes. I have to confess that I am not much different from those men. When the storm comes, I know Jesus is in my boat. I call on Him, but then I worry. I worry that that young man, or someone else, may come after my son again. But I have no cause to fear because "He has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power and love and of a sound mind" (2 Timothy 1 : 7). 

And how do we develop this spirit of power and love and sound mind? By going through a storm, of course, and knowing that He is right there with us. 


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