Asleep in the Storm By Jim Stern
What will you be doing in the midst of the storm?
Jesus had spent the day teaching by the sea of Galilee. Eventually, it came time for Jesus and His twelve closest disciples to travel by boat to the other side of the sea so He could teach elsewhere.
The biblical account in Mark 4 tells us that sometime during that trip, a fierce gale kicked up. Jesus’s disciples—many of them fishermen of these very waters—knew firsthand how life-threatening these winds could be. Numerous men and women had lost their lives because of these destructive winds.
Believing they were going to be the Sea of Galilee’s next casualties, the disciples panicked. Meanwhile, in one of the great biblical contrasts, Jesus slept.
On the same boat, in the same storm, the disciples were terrified . . . and Jesus rested.
Envision yourself on that boat with no knowledge of what is about to happen. You believe you are going to die. No amount of money, talent, intelligence, or skill can help you. You are powerless. The situation is out of control.
Have you ever been in such a situation? Maybe you were just laid off from your job, or you’ve been given a diagnosis of cancer. You feel you’re in a horrific storm and you may drown.
Another wave pummels the boat. You feel, like the disciples, that you can’t get your head above water.
What does Jesus do? He turns and faces the storm. He turns toward the very thing that threatens your life, the very thing that you are feverishly trying to escape from. Then, with no hesitation or doubt, He speaks to the wind. He talks to nature!
“Hush, be still (Mark 4:39).”
There is a powerful turn in the boat-on-Galilee story. After Jesus rebuked the storm, He pivoted, faced His disciples, and said,
“Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith” (Mark 4:40?)
When hardships and trials, the storms of life, come your way, what’s your response? Is your first response, “God, I know you’ll calm this storm!” Or, is your response one of feeling doomed and hopeless?
The good news, the news we need to rest in is that we believers have Jesus right in the boat with us, and our faith should tell us that He is in control. He has the situation, whatever it is, in His capable hands. We merely need to have faith.
There come times when we do not know what to do; when we stand at some crossroads in life and do not know which way to take. If then we turn to Jesus and say to him, ‘Lord, what will you have me to do?’ the way will be clear. The real tragedy is not that we do not know what to do; but that often we do not humbly submit to Jesus’ guidance. To ask his will and to submit to it is the way to peace at such a time.
Jim Stern serves as senior pastor for CORE Church in Houston, Texas. He is also the founder of TREXO, a consulting ministry that serves churches and ministries in multi-generational disciple-making. Jim is a frequent speaker and the author of several books, including BE: The Way of Rest, the first in a series of books devoted to his greatest passion in the Lord, and a crucial need of the church today–discipling people and sending them to disciple others.
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