Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 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?”
He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have not faith?”
– Mark 4:36-40
hen my daughter expressed fright during her youth, I would ask, “What are you afraid of?” Even though I did not appreciate fear during her youth, I do appreciate it now. Fright is real, we should never dismiss a person’s fright.
In the text, Jesus and his disciples were traveling across the lake when a great storm overtook them. Jesus had been busy teaching all day and probably was suffering from fatigue. Consequently, he fell asleep during the journey across the lake.
The storm came upon them without warning. The Sea of Galilee, which was also referred to as Lake Tiberias or Kinnereth, often attracted such violent storms.
This lake is probably the lowest body of freshwater on earth. It lies 680 feet below sea level and is bounded by hills, which reach a height of 2,000 feet. The cool, dry air from these hills creates windstorms which violently descends upon the lake and causes violent storms.
When the storm erupted, the disciples were afraid. They were seasoned sailors, yet they were afraid.
They battled the storm as best they could. However, the waves were lashing against the boat and filling it with water, faster than they could bail it out. Even though Jesus was in the boat with them they began to lose hope.
Like the disciples in their dilemma on that turbulent lake, we too become fearful when the burdens of life threaten to overtake and overwhelm us. We become fearful and worry because we fear that we will be overtaken.
Yes, the burdens of life come in furious waves that threatens to pull us under. Our fears cause us to doubt our faith. We, too, get the feeling that Jesus is not concerned about our welfare.
Because Jesus was sleeping in the boat, the disciples felt that he was oblivious to their plight. Consequently, when they could endure it no longer, they awoke the master with a somewhat rude question, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” Jesus immediately awoke and addressed the wind, “Peace! Be still.”
God our father is always with us whatever our struggles in life. When we call upon him, he hears our prayers and guides us through our troubles.
God is never oblivious to our plight in life. When we are drowning in the billows of life, which sometimes overwhelm us, he comes to us, with words of peace – “Peace be still.”
Do you get the feeling that Jesus is asleep and not concerned about your welfare? Are the billows of life making you afraid and giving you a sense of hopelessness? You are not alone.
The Lord cares about you. He is on your side and will give you the peace that you crave. He is a caring father who will quiet your storms and give you peace. Just call upon his name and he will hear your cries and come to your rescue.
He is with us guiding us all the way through, even though we might think that he is not aware. At his command, the forces of nature and the tribulations of life obey him and give us that peace which surpasses all understanding. The Lord is with you. Why are you so afraid? Amen.
• Rev. Samuel M. Boodle, pastor at the Lutheran Church of Nassau, 119 John F. Kennedy Drive, can be reached at P.O. Box N 4794, Nassau, Bahamas; or telephone: 426-9084; E-mail: email@example.com; website: www.nassaulutheranchurch.org.