In Mark 4:35-41, we find an amazing narrative about Jesus and His disciples as they cross the Sea of Galilee.
35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 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?” 39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. 40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
What is a squall? According to one Bible dictionary, a squall is a sudden, violent storm, stirring the waters into giant waves. Storms represent struggles or problems or difficult situations in life that we each must face. The boat on the other hand represents our own life.
Now, there are many different kinds of storm: physical pain or suffering, emotional anguish, or even financial downfall. Whatever your storm is, one thing is clear – we all experience it at a certain point in our lives. The question is: is Jesus with you in the boat? If the boat represents your life, is Jesus in your life now?
How do we respond to the storm? Different people respond differently to different situations but in our text the disciples could respond with fear, worry, or even doubt what Jesus can do or not do. They are afraid that the storm will inflict tremendous damages to the boat; they are worried that the boat will capsize and they will drown; or, they forgot that Jesus is with them on the boat. Whatever it is, it’s not a godly response; its more like a panic reaction. They forgot that Jesus can calm the storm and still the waves. They forgot that Jesus can help them go through the storm with little collateral damage; they forgot that Jesus will not allow them to sink or drown.
If Jesus is in your boat (in your life), you should not be afraid, or worry. Do you remember the song, “With Christ in my vessel I can smile at the storm”?, this is exactly what the text wants to teach us today.
We are all in the middle of the storm but if we look past the storm we will see God’s hand at work.