35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
The Midwest is well known for its storms. For those of us who live here, we know that a small amount of rain can turn into a deluge pretty fast. We also get pretty adept at recognizing those dark and ominous clouds that indicate there will be a great chance for a tornado in our area. We know what to expect and we prepare accordingly - storms are no surprise to us.
Considering we are great at recognizing weather storms in our lives, you would think we would be better at recognizing oncoming storms in our lives. Further, you would think that we would be better at preparing for them in our life. Unfortunately, generally speaking, knowledge of one does not help us in recognizing the other.
The disciples here in Mark 4 were in the same situation. They were fishermen and they were used to being on the water. We can assume that storms were something they were used to and were prepared for. In this situation the storm was so big that even they were afraid for their lives.
The key to the story is not the storm, but their reaction to the storm. Essentially they lose all hope, forgetting a key element in their trip – Jesus was present. In the previous chapter the disciples had seen Jesus heal someone on the Sabbath. They had seen his power, but hadn’t yet realized that they could count on this exact power to help them in this situation. It is only when Jesus “rebukes” the wind and the waves that the disciples begin to understand who Jesus really is and understand his power.
The storms on the sea are much like the storms in our lives. There are alike in a couple of ways. First, we can always count on them. Storms in our lives will come: health problems, job problems, financial problems, etc. they will come and we should be prepared for them. The problem is that sometimes problems are too big for us, we feel overwhelmed and not able to cope. It is at this point of being overwhelmed or being exhausted that we should realize whom we have “on board” with us: Jesus and his power. We can learn a lesson from the disciples. We are privy to information that they were not. We have seen Jesus’ power in our life, particularly in his forgiveness of our sins. This power is available to us when we hit storms in our lives. We don’t have to freak out as the disciples did, we can call upon his name and allow him to rebuke whatever problems we have.