Mark 4:37-38 – A fierce windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking over the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. 38 But He was in the stern, sleeping on the cushion. So they woke Him up and said to Him, “Teacher! Don’t You care that we’re going to die?” (HCSB)
Doug, my grandson’s dog, is afraid of the ocean because the waves seem to sneak up on him. He has been around long enough to know the waves are coming. He has been warned the waves are coming. Yet, he is always surprised when the waves actually come and then fear takes control. The disciples in Mark 4:37-38 found themselves to be much like Doug. They were fishermen on the Sea of Galilee, a body of water renown for sudden flash storms causing giant waves, so they had been around long enough to know storms would come. In learning to navigate the waters, I’m sure they had been warned storms would come. Yet, they were surprised by this particular storm, surprised to the point of being terrified and felt Jesus wasn’t doing anything to rescue them. They were frightened, they had no control of the situation, and things were bad and getting worse. I imagine the frantic running around and shouting of questions such as “Why aren’t You doing something?” “Why don’t You care about me?” “Why are You sleeping while I’m suffering?” Sometimes I feel much like a small boat on turbulent waters. I have been around long enough to know trouble is coming. Jesus warned that trouble was coming (John 16:33). Yet, I am always caught by surprise and frightened when the waves of trouble are pounding. Like the disciples, I can become frantic when everything I do only emphasizes my lack of control. I cry out “Why aren’t You doing something?” as I am pounded by the consequences of someone else’s actions. Drowning in hurt and confusion, I ask “Why don’t You care about me?” In exasperation and anger I demand to know, “Why are You sleeping while I’m suffering?” And Jesus answers me the same way He answered the disciples, “Why are you afraid?” (v.40). Storms are not fun, but the same Jesus who controlled the storm for the disciples, has control of the storms in my life. He spoke and called a stormy sea to calm. I can call my stormy world to calm when I speak the name of Jesus.