Faith in the Storm
Have you ever been in the situation where you felt that God was nowhere in the struggles of life that you were going through? Maybe you thought that God is perhaps taking too long to show up or is just not interested in those storms that overwhelm you? Do these feelings upset you? You are not alone.
In the book of Mark Chapter 4 and verses 35 – 41 we read about the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ struggling against a storm, fearful of drowning. Most of them were fishermen and knew the waters pretty well. They must have been familiar with storms but this one must have been particularly intense to bring them to such desperation. And they were probably exasperated too that their Rabbi, their Teacher, the miracle worker was fast asleep on a cushion as they struggled between life and death.
They had seen Him drive out evil spirits, heal many people including a paralyzed man who in an instant was not only healed, but took his mat on which he was lying and walked out the door. These disciples had seen the power that their teacher had over the natural and the supernatural and probably wondered if He really cared about them, as He slept through that storm. They probably also wondered if He would drown with them. They did use the word ‘we’. The contrast between his calmness and their panic was too obvious.
They wake Him up complaining, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” And when He gets up, rebukes the wind, stills the waves and calms the storm, they are more terrified and wonder, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” They were probably scared out of their wits by this sudden calm at the word of Jesus. Shocked, as they saw His authority over the elements of nature in such a visible way. God can always surprise us, stump us and challenge our notions of Him.
Their teacher seems a little harsh when He chides them for their lack of faith: “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” Was this whole ordeal a test of their faith?
The clue is in the words of Jesus in verse 35. “Let us go over to the other side.” He did say that they were going to their other side and after all the time that they had been with Him, after all that they had seen, did they still not trust Him, did they not trust His word? They would have made it safely, for He was their leader, He had given them their destination and was with them even in the midst of the storm.
In our storms of life too, Jesus has promised to be with us and to lead us as the Psalmist says, ‘through the valley of the shadow of death’. Indeed, we should fear no evil, for He is with us. Storms will come and Jesus will be present with us as He has promised, but His presence may not always mean physical comfort. But we must trust Him for the storms ultimately do come to an end.
So, our greatest need is not for the storm to end but for us to be free from fear and to trust Him while the storm rages around us. Even when He may seem asleep to us, He still has us in the palm of His hand. After all He has promised that we will get to the other side.
Rev. Vijayesh Lal