Lent – Day 23
Steady in the Storm
Soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water. Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with His head on a cushion. The disciples woke Him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t You care that we’re going to drown?” When Jesus woke up, He rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. Then He asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” (Mark 4:37-40, New Living Translation)
I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. (Psalm 16:8, New International Version)
Few experiences produce as much suspense, uncertainty and sheer panic as being on the deck of a ship in the middle of a sudden storm, like in the scene from Mark 4.
Perhaps this imagery stirs up memories of experiences you’ve had. The vast ocean, like the circumstances and situations of your life, can change underneath you without warning. Your boat is completely rocked, taking on water, while you desperately try to keep your footing to steer toward safety.
The disciples in this passage could certainly relate. Jesus asked them to sail to the other side of the Sea of Galilee — this was His mission they were on — when they were caught off guard by a sudden storm. They scrambled to handle it on their own, which makes sense, since there were experienced fishermen in this group. Likely, they thought they could get through with enough strength and skill.
When did the panic start to sink in? My guess is when their own efforts failed and they realized the fierce waves were simply too much.
You’ll notice their question to Jesus, “Don’t You care about us?” Their panic reveals two lies you might also believe:
- This storm is not only out of your control but out of God’s control.
- Because of what’s happening, He must not care about you. Maybe He has abandoned you.
In the moment, it can feel impossible to entertain anything other than lies like these. The disciples likely believed them because their eyes were on the size of the waves and strength of the storm. They forgot who was in their boat.
When your focus is on your circumstances, no matter how overwhelming or dangerous, it can be easy to forget Jesus is right there with you.
As the storm disappeared with just a word from Jesus, the disciples realized He was sleeping because He was in complete control the entire time.
Reflect and Pray
Spend time reflecting on a situation in your life that feels as hopeless or overwhelming as this storm.
Ask Jesus “Where are You in this situation? How can I focus on You and not the storm?”
Invite the Holy Spirit to remind you, as the disciples were reminded, that Jesus is greater than the storm. Even if the boat feels rocky, with Him right beside you, you’ll be unshakeable.