Sleep Through the Storm

SleepThroughTheStormNo matter your plight or position in life, if you are an Israelite, it can never be over for you. As we are learning, things are now much different than what they were, when we first believed. Therefore how we handle the storms of life reflects where we really are spiritually. The good news is, the more we listen to Christ, the more we will mature.

MARK 4:35-41

35 And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side. 36 And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. 37 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. 38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish 39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? 41 And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?

After a long day of teaching, Christ informs the Disciples He wants to go on a boat ride. It all seems simple enough. So they depart from the crowd, and get in the ship with Christ. Sometime later, on into the night, a huge storm arises with great wind and waves crashing into the boat, beginning to flood it. Meanwhile, Yahshua is fast asleep in the back of the boat. The Disciples awaken Him, informing Him of the terrible conditions while questioning His concern for their well-being. He then rises up and like flipping a switch, stops the wind and calms the storm with a few simple words. They must now take a hard look at their fear and lack of faith. They realize the other-worldly nature of the way He handles this event. Can you imagine having been there when this took place? We have our own personal storms all the time, being followers of Christ.

MARK 4:35

35 And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side.

It had been a busy day with lots of people and many parables. No doubt they were tired, but they were still in the midst of all the excitement that surrounded Christ, for they were His chosen Disciples. Notice it was Christ's idea to "pass over unto the other side". At this point, no one seems to be worried about what's on the other side or what they may have to go thru to get there. Notice also that "even was come" and it was getting dark.

Where are you headed in your life with Christ today? Mark it down, if Christ is with you as one of His followers, He has you in pursuit of something for some purpose. Maybe you are not even sure, but you know things are moving in your life to another place possibly "unto the other side." It's exciting to awaken each day and have this new found purpose and expectation, knowing that Christ is bringing you closer to where you belong.

MARK 4:36

36 And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships.

Possibly you look around and see that you're the only person in your family at this time which seems to be really going anywhere with Christ in your spiritual life. Your family and friends are too busy and preoccuppied with other things, maybe even religion, to stand alone from the crowd and go on a spiritual journey with Him. You know there are others who are like those on the "other little ships" somewhere out there. But you are in the same boat with Christ, experiencing things like never before.

Here we see the multitudes wouldn't be going to the other side, only a select few. This is how it is because Christ has chosen for it to be this way. He muat not want you just standing on the sidelines or sitting in the bleachers- He wants you in the game. Though there's much risk involved, the risk is worth the gain.

MARK 4:37

37 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.

Have you ever been outside during a big storm or gone thru a hurricane? There are few things which stir up the senses and can frighten us more than the sound of strong winds, hard rain, and crashing waves, let alone already being surrounded by water on the sea. Seeing and feeling things moving out of our control envokes feelings of vulnerability and helplessness. When things move beyond our control, it appears to be much more than we can handle. It can seem as if everything is about to collapse all around you, even beneath you.

What began as a joy ride with Jesus has become surreal, worse than a nightmare- how quickly things change. They were suddenly in the worst of circumstances you could possibly imagine, while traveling by boat. They probably assumed since Jesus was with them it would be smooth sailing all the way to the other side. Little did they know chaos at sea would break out and they would find themselves thinking they were in need of some kind of divine intervention.

Was it just a coincidence this was happening? Doesn't it seem at times, the storms of life come out of nowhere? Things are calm and going good, then suddenly "a great storm" arises in or around your life or family. The pressure quickly begins to rise like the "waves" until you feel overwelmed like a ship "full" of water, ready to sink. Circumstances seem impossible and where is God, as it appears our whole world is crashing down?

MARK 4:38

38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?

As circumstances continued to worsen and the boat began to fill, they must've thought of Christ. As they arrive at the rear of the ship- "You've got to be kidding me! Here we are ready to plummet into death and there He is sound asleep. Doesn't He realize what's going on?!" This is where our carnal mind takes us when we allow circumstances to become bigger and more powerful to us than God. Yet Christ had already declared to them, "Let us pass over unto the other side" knowing the end from the beginning.

In keeping with this, please remember these were not a bunch of amateurs or greenhorns. Most of these Disciples were seasoned fishermen who had spent much of their lives at sea and did this for a living. To stir them up this much, it must have been a terrible storm. 'Just when we think we've been thru it all, something hits our lives like never before. What will they do? What will we do? When we look back now at the New Testament and early church history and recognize all that Christ accomplished thru these Disciples, their attitude here seems pretty ridiculous: FOR WHO ARE WE TO EVER QUESTION CHRIST?!

MARK 4:39

39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

As always, our God knows just what to do. Realize, things could have remained as bad as they were and they still would have made it to the other side. Yet they woke Him, He spoke to the wind and waves, and the elements obeyed Him. Though the wind and waves were anything but peaceful, they became that way because Christ commanded them to, for "the wind ceased, and there was a great calm." What circumstances can we face that God is not able to help us through or handle, when He has the power to instantaniously calm an actual storm?

What do you think would have happened if they had not woke Him up? Obviously God's perfect will was for them to just trust Him and go thru the storm to the other side. Yet so many times we panic, refusing to trust Him. How does He feel about it?:

MARK 4:40

40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?

We miss the whole point of this the way it's taught most of the time. We were taught that the Disciples did the right thing by waking up Jesus to witness this awesome display of His power. Indeed, it was a magnificent example of Christ's Omnipotent power as God in the flesh. BUT HE WAS NOT PLEASED THAT THEY HAD WOKE HIM UP. Therefore we clearly see that this was no little slap on the wrist from Christ while wanting to show off His power. Christ was disgusted at them for not trusting Him. May we remember this in the future and not panic like cowards, exposing our lack of faith.

Therefore we see, though He had the power to take care of this, it troubled Him greatly that they reacted by waking Him up. In other words, God would rather us trust Him thru the storms of life rather than for us to always panic and expect Him to bail us out. As followers of Christ we must come to realize that being in the same boat with Him means we will trust that what He has said is true. For Christ had already specifically told them they were going to the other side in the first place. Obviously His intention was to simply get some sleep along the way. WE MUST LEARN FROM CHRIST TO REST IN THE MIDST OF THE STORM.

Here we see the mental struggle contrasted by Christ: we can either be fearful while having no faith, or we can trust Him, having faith- it's that simple. There is nothing to fear as long as we are following Christ's words. If doing His perfect will is the thrust your life and His goals are now your own, there's no need to worry about whether or not He is able to deliver you.

MARK 4:41

41 And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?

The lesson here is simple: we must see how shameful it is for us to have fear and begin trusting God, especially when we know He is with us. When He has spoken and we know He is leading us, we must never question the inevitability of our arrival. When storms arise along the way and circumstances seem impossible to overcome, rest assured, Christ is with you and you can follow His calm Example. God doesn't want us all keyed-up when adversity and trials come our way. He wants us to trust that if He has invited us to go to the other side with Him, we will arrive there.

Doubtless, in retrospect, if the Disciples had it to do all over again, they realized there was a much better way for them to go to the other side with Christ. IT MAY SOUND CRAZY, BUT IN OUR HEART WE KNOW IT'S TRUE: THEY SHOULD HAVE EACH FOUND THEMSELVES A PILLOW AND SLEPT THROUGH THE STORM JUST LIKE CHRIST! Obviously this sounds preposterous to the casual observer. But to the disciple who only wants to be faithful, it really is the only acceptable and perfect response! Think about how many times we've panicked and overreacted when all we needed to do was relax, be still, and remember Who our God is.

REFLECTION

No matter how we react, if Christ has spoken to you, remember we are all in the same boat, together with Him. When you are finally convinced that this is the same God Who lives inside of you, you will find the power to sleep through the storm. There's no doubt that if they would have just calmed down and trusted the sleeping Christ, they would have ended up on the other side just as He had said. Apply these principles to your personal storms and see how much God is pleased with you.