On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” (Mark 4:35-41, ESV)
We have such easy access to know when a storm might be approaching. I can’t tell you how many times a week I google “Omaha forecast.” With the information so conveniently at our fingertips it is easy to prepare for stormy weather. We can rearrange baseball games, plan to keep the cars in the garage, tote in the patio furniture cushions, and plan on reading a good book or finishing some sort of indoor project.
No person in their right mind would find themselves at the beginning of a nice boat ride to the next town over knowing severe weather was headed their way, right? Especially if the son of man was joining you and knew perfectly well there were some angry looking clouds rolling in shortly.
I have to laugh a little, because I always envision the disciples as being so darn dramatic in this scene in Mark 4. I picture them being perturbed by the fact they figured Jesus would warn them if he knew it was going to be rocky sailing (one true God, ya know, he probably knows…) and then he’s… he’s sleeping?! Well don’t you look comfy there on that cushion while we are all ‘perishing’ Jesus!
*Note: I am aware this is probably not how it went down, but none the less… this is how my thought translate it into modern day.
The story continues and Jesus literally just tells the storm to shut up and it complies. Like a well trained dog, the waters calm and the rains cease. So at this point I feel like everyone is just stunned- trying to pick their jaws up off the floor stunned. What just happened? Who. Is. This.
In all reality, even if the Lord had warned them, they would have probably still gone. There were things Jesus was going to do in the next town. Big things. There was really not much to come of a warning except the knot that might form on one’s stomach when they know something bad is about to happen.
So in parallel we get in our boat and out on the high seas we encounter severe weather. Sometimes we go seeing the angry clouds rolling in. Sometimes storms come what seems like out of no where. Sometimes we flip our boat and create our own storm from foolish decisions. In any case Jesus is right there. And you can bet he’s not taking a cat nap this time.
This scripture has given me the courage to walk through any storm that I might see coming on the horizon. And surely the voice that created the sea and all has the power to tell it how to behave.
Holy Spirit empower us to remember your strength, remind us of your faithfulness oh God, and prepare our hearts with the tools to power through the storm. We know that in all things you alone are in control. Amen!