Mary Did You Know... He Would Calm the Storm With His Hand?
That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”—Mark 4:35-41.
Have you ever been in the middle of a miracle? At least one you knew was happening? Some years ago, I attended a conference being held at the beach, outside, under a huge tent. A terrible storm blew in out of nowhere and the rain pounded the tent top so hard that we could not hear the speaker. He stopped his message, looked up to the top of the tent and prayed for God to stop the rain so we could continue. He said, “Amen.”
The rain stopped. Immediately. I’m talking chill-bumps, people.
You can bet we were a captivated audience! As far as we were concerned, the God of the universe just heard this guy and saw fit to answer him!
Experiences like that have been rare in my life. A more common experience for most of us is the “storm” of life-crisis. I love the Mark 4 passage because it’s so easy to relate to–even if you’ve never been on a boat in the middle of a storm. But most of us have experienced some kind of crisis and I bet that you’ve wanted to shake Jesus and ask him, like the disciples did, “Don’t you care if we drown?” Or at least ask Jesus, “don’t you care?”
I have to wonder if the disciples were asking the wrong question. Often our present circumstances cause us to ask questions filled with doubt and fear rather than clutching to the truth of God’s Word and His faithfulness of the past. The irony of this boat scene can be lost if you don’t know the context of what took place before they set sail.
Jesus had just healed lepers, made a paralytic walk again, healed Peter’s mother of a fever, and healed many others of many illnesses–all in the presence of the disciples. Exhaustion understandably led to a deep sleep on the boat. So when the storm lets loose its fury on them, the disciples freak out and think they’re going to die. Then Jesus asked them why they were afraid. It’s helpful to know that the translation of “afraid” means “cowardly” in this context. Which then makes his next question even more understandable: “do you still have no faith?” In others words, Jesus was asking his disciples why they were faithless cowards in fear of a storm when they had literally witnessed him performing countless miracles before they got into the boat.
So is the crucial part of this story the fact that the disciples had just seen Jesus perform countless miraculous, yet when it came to their own situation, they freaked out and panicked and forgot WHO was in their presence? They were more amazed by the power of the storm than by the power of the One in their presence.
How like them are you? I know I have a tendency to forget. I think we all do. One of my favorite bible study exercises is to go through the Old Testament and mark every time it says, “do not forget” or “remember.” God knew we would struggle in times of crisis. He knew we would forget and get caught up in them midst of our “storms” and question whether he cares about us, whether he’s actually present. So He tells us throughout His Word to remember his faithfulness of the past and to cling to the truth of His power and His presence.
Check out Psalm 77 if you’ve ever felt like God was sleeping, silent or absent in the midst of your storms. I so appreciate the authenticity of the author of this psalm and his gut-level honesty. He does a 180-degree turn around when he chooses to remember God’s miracles and faithfulness of the past.
Remembering God’s faithfulness and miraculous works always shifts our perspective away from our present despair and doubt and fills us with confidence that results from trusting a mighty and powerful God.
We will face storms in our lives. Jesus promises his presence and power are ours. Reader, did you know that Jesus can calm your “storm” with his hand?
Questions to Ponder:
- Our question today examines Jesus' power to calm the storm. Is there a storm in your life that you need Him to speak peace over?
- How can you relate to the fear the disciples felt in the storm?
- Open your Bible and read Psalm 77. Verse 11 calls us to "take a look at the Lord's deeds." Take a moment to reflect on and remember how the Lord has worked wonders in your life.
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