I was thinking about a story this month. It is a true story and it happened many hundreds of years ago. A dozen or so men in a wooden boat found themselves in the middle of a storm. It had been calm not that long beforehand. But things had turned nasty and it was also now getting dark. The boat literally began to sink.
Now the men weren't evil men and they weren't on their way to do harm to anyone. Actually, it reminded me that storms of one kind or another come to all of us. It doesn't matter if we are Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist or none of the above, or for that matter whether we are inherently decent or nasty. The difference, I believe, is that Bible believing Christians know that there is a God who ultimately is in control of all things, good and bad alike.
Going back to our story then, as told in the final verses of Mark chapter 4. Those men were the disciples of Jesus and the boat was in peril that night on the Sea of Galilee. Jesus Himself was in the boat too. While the other men were petrified, Jesus remained asleep in the stern of the small boat! In fact, after waking Him, they accused Him of being unconcerned for their welfare.
I have read that storms can occur very quickly on the Sea of Galilee in Israel due to the lake's unique geography. Although it is small, it is also some 680 feet below sea level and is flanked by high hills. The large difference in height between surrounding land and the lake causes large temperature and pressure changes. This can result in strong winds funnelling through the hills and onto the water. As it is also a relatively shallow lake, it is "whipped up" by wind more rapidly than deep water, leading to some fierce waves.
So what about that night in question? Well, we know that Jesus uttered one brief command and suddenly all was calm.
Oh to have an instant effect like that when waves are crashing about us! These may be waves of anguish, waves of despair, waves of sorrow, waves of pain, waves of fear, waves of doubt, waves of worry, wave after wave…
From our story, here is what I think Jesus would say to all of us… using words from Stuart Townend's song "The Man Who Calmed The Sea"…
Through every joy and sorrow
My grace is all you'll need
Trust Me in the storm
For I'm the Man who calms the sea.
And here, ideally, is what I think our response should be. again using words from "the Man who calmed the sea"…
No fear shall overwhelm me
For Lord, I do believe
You're the Master and the Maker
You're the Man who calms the sea.
I'll trust You for tomorrow
And seek You for today
For You're the Master and the Maker
You're the Man who calmed the sea.
Jesus is still in the 'calming' business.
Not lakes or seas anymore, but lives, especially those who are His own.
Need that calming influence this month?
Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken. (Psalm 55:22)
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; (Psalm 46: 1-2)
Until next month then (DV)…
Are you SURE that you have your place booked in Heaven? Read this if you're not!