In Mark 4:35-40 we read of Jesus calming a storm. If you grew up attending Sunday school you are probably familiar with the story. The disciples and Jesus got into a boat to cross a lake. They had been ministering all day and were looking to get away from the crowds for a little rest. In the middle of the night a fierce storm sprung up, with the wind and waves buffeting their boat. The disciples panicked and felt certain they would capsize and drown. Meanwhile Jesus was sleeping through the whole thing. In desperation the disciples woke Him and asked if He even cared they were going to die. At the climax of this story, Jesus simply got up and told the wind to stop and the waves to be still. Immediately all was calm. Crisis averted; Jesus saves the day. It was a common theme in the lives of the disciples.
There is much more here than just a tale of rescue, however. It is interesting to notice the difference in attitude between Jesus and His disciples as they both endured the same storm. At some point the weather had gotten so violent that those who were awake sounded the alarm to the others; yet Jesus slept on. Many of these men were fishermen by trade and had surely seen their fair share of rough waters. So they did what they had done all their lives; they began doing everything within their power and realm of knowledge to get the boat under control. Their best efforts were not good enough. The more they tried to gain control of the situation, the more hopeless it seemed to become. Finally, and apparently as a last resort, the men cried out to Jesus because they had done all they could do and realized they were now lost without Him. Jesus then did what He had come to do; He saved sinful men from their pride and ignorance and gave them life through His unending grace and love. He spoke and they were redeemed from the storm.
Contrast the disciples view of all this with that of Jesus. He wasn’t disturbed by the choppy sea or howling winds. As the boat pitched violently back and forth, Jesus slept, at peace with Himself and secure in His Father. He didn’t worry what calamity might find Him that day. He wasn’t troubled by the inconvenience of His circumstances. The difference was that while the disciples had peace after Jesus had calmed the storm around them, Jesus had peace within the storm itself. He didn’t need the weather to calm in order to find His sense of security; He had it throughout.
How often do we panic when the winds of life blow hard against us? When we are tossed about by the inevitable waves of this world, what is our response? Do we thrash about, attempting to bring things under control using our best skills and know-how? Do we panic, convinced that there will be no recovering this time? Do we seek Jesus as a last resort, only after exhausting everything we believe to be under our control? We see this played out every day in our own life and in the lives of others. We are the disciples on the boat, petrified of our surroundings even though Jesus is right beside us. Turning to Christ as the first resort will allow us to share His peace within the situation. We can be secure regardless of the circumstance because we know He is with us. We can rest in the midst of our situation because we are confident in our Father, and we know He will rescue and deliver us to the other side. As you go throughout your life, don’t struggle against the inevitable storms. Instead, turn to Jesus and find rest in His strength and comfort in His arms. Don’t wish away the storms; rest calmly within them knowing our God is near.