”And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side. And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. 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 it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
— Mark 4:35-41

The incident of the storm that engulfed the Saviour and His disciples as they crossed the sea of Galilee has resonated with the Lord’s people ever since it happened. The destructive force of the storm, the helplessness of the disciples, and the hopelessness of the situation seem to echo our own life’s experiences in many different ways.

The ship’s passage from Capernaum into the country of the Gadarenes ought to have been straightforward. Perhaps, after a long day, most hoped to get a little rest. As is often the case in our lives things did not go to plan. The troubles of life often take us unawares, like a sudden storm at sea. The question is, can we ride the storm? Sometimes we can, using our resources, skill, experience, and whatever backup we can muster. These little victories tend to build our self-confidence and spike it with a dash of pride.

These disciples had been in many a storm and probably felt they could handle this one, too. But this one was different. The waves did not beat against the ship but into it. The ship was no longer filling with water, it was full of water, and the weight seemed likely to submerge the craft at any moment, sinking the whole party to the depths of the sea. Without options, growing panic overtook the crew and disciples. Where was Jesus? Having been brought to an end of themselves the disciples searched out the Lord. It is always the same.

We are cumbered with many things while the Lord desires but one. The Lord requires faith. Note the Saviour’s reaction when He finally was roused. You are safe. You are secure. I am with you. The storm you fear is under my control. Look, it is silent. The wind is gone, the waves are stilled. “Why are you so fearful?” “How is it that you have no faith?”

In His sovereign purpose the Lord used this whole episode to teach the disciples a lesson; to teach them what manner of Man He truly is. What a lesson! How intense the experience, how near to complete ruin they came, how powerful Christ’s deliverance and how immediate the calm! It makes for a lesson not easily forgotten and I feel sure the disciples carried it with them for the rest of their lives.

We can learn from this lesson, too. The Lord sets fear and faith side by side suggesting that as one grows the other recedes. Fear, unchecked, overthrows faith, and faith banishes fear. Gaining proper perspective on our trials and troubles hinges upon trusting the power of the Lord Jesus Christ. Child of God, understand this, He rules over every circumstance and situation and has ordained everything for our good and happiness, even the storms.

Let us learn this lesson. Christ is our King, we are His kingdom. He reigns with dominion and authority. In the moment nothing about that storm suggested things were going to end well for the disciples, nothing, that is, except the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ in the ship with them. He was there and that was enough. If the Lord seems to sleep, to tarry and pause while delivering us out of our trials His purpose is to exercise our faith and drive us to Him with more urgency.

Soon the Lord will say to all our troubles, “Peace, be still” and it will be so. And when the world in wonder shall ask, “What manner of Man is this?” we shall reply from experience, “The LORD is a great God, and a great King. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.”

Peter Meney



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