“And there arose a great storm of wind, and waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. 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 that ye have no faith?” – Mark 4:37-40 KJV
Life is very unpredictable. One moment, everything is well and we’re just cruising through it. But the next, all hell breaks loose, or so it seems. This is exactly where we find the disciples in the account of Mark as they were crossing the Sea of Galilee by boat with Jesus. After teaching the multitude by the seaside, Jesus said to the disciples: “Let us pass over unto the other side” (verse 35). All was well until a great storm broke out. The wind was quite dangerous, tossing the water so that it began to fill their ship and they were in great jeopardy. The men in the boat were great fishermen, very familiar with the waters and skilled when it came to navigating boats. Yet, as the ship got full of water, they began to fear. Meanwhile, Jesus was in the boat with them sleeping soundly. In a panic, they woke him up and exclaimed:” Master, carest thou not that we perish?”.
Oh friend, how often do you find yourself in the ship of disappointments, the ship of trials, financial crisis, troubled marriage, a troubled child, etc? For us, this ship represents the entire crisis that we face on a daily basis. When our ship gets overwhelmed with water, when the situations have gotten out of control and the boat is about the sink, how often do you cry out to Jesus and ask “Do you even care?” Oh how often I have cried out the words. It is easy for us to get discouraged, afraid or weary sometimes. Too often, it is our first reaction and we forget that Jesus is in the boat, or we remember yet wonder why is he sleeping.
Jesus, don’t you see my situation? How can you sleep, stay still, and do nothing at a time like this?
Friend, this is when we need to place our trust in Him. As I reread this passage and Luke’s account as well in Luke 8:22-25, I noticed how Jesus said: “Let us pass over unto the other side”. Friend, this is a promise! Implied within this line is the promise that we will reach the other side. Jesus is not allowing you to get on a boat without reaching the final destination. Though trials may find you as you cross the sea of life, he has promised that you are only passing through. You will go over unto the other side (Luke 8:22).
Even when you face difficulties or obstacles that seem as if they will take your life and be too overwhelming for you to bear, Jesus wants you to have faith. Those are the moments when your faith must be exercised and you must demonstrate that indeed you trust the one and true Living God.
Where is your faith? Jesus is asking. When life is hard and the waters are raging, where is your faith? Have you forgotten that the same God who said Get on the boat also has the power to rebuke the wind and the raging of the water?
Friend, God is always in control. The universe and all creation obey His Word. When He speaks, it is done. It isn’t that God is unable to take away your pain or your situation. But you must remember that He will often allow us to face trials and difficulties to test our faith and perfect us. And once we have withstood the test, He promises to give the crown of life to those who love Him (James 1:12). So even as you are in your boat, do not abandon ship, do not despair! Remember that Jesus is always in the boat with you. And when Jesus is in the boat, you can rest assured that you will reach the other side. Therefore, you have no reason to fear. Just have faith! He will see you through your journey.
Even when it seems as if Jesus is not doing anything, He is still in control. And even if He must intervene, He is still in control. At all times, He is in control so be still and you can trust in His protection. You can trust that He is powerful enough to control the winds and the waves that threaten your journey. Because when Jesus is in the boat, you will certainly reach the shore.
Heavenly Father, Sovereign God, I confess that many times I want to give up when I’m in this journey of life. I can get scared and give in to my fears. Yet Lord, I choose to trust in you. Thank you for your promise that I will make it to the end of the line. Thank you for being with me in the midst of my trials and crisis. Help me to remember that you are always for me and never against me. Help me to not only read about faith but to exercise my faith daily to be able to stand firm in the face of obstacles. Thank you for caring about me and loving me enough to stay in the boat with me. And when life gets hard, remind me that you are there and that you are still in control, still powerful to rebuke the winds and the waves of life because all things will work together for my good. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
James 1: 2-4; 12
Isaiah 55:11 NASB