SLEEP THROUGH THE STORM

 
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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 seemed simple enough. So they depart from the crowd, and get in the ship with Christ. Sometime later into the night, a huge storm arose with great winds and waves crashing into the boat, beginning to flood it. Meanwhile Yahshua is fast asleep in the back of the boat. The Disciples abruptly awaken Him, informing Him of the terrible conditions and question His concern for their well-being. He then gets up and like flipping a switch, stops the wind and calms the storm with a few simple words. They must then take a hard look at their fear and lack of faith. They realize the other-worldly nature of the way He handles these events. Can you imagine having been there when these things took place? Yet we have our own personal storms all the time, as we are in the same boat, 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" or it was getting dark.

Where are you headed in your life with Christ? Mark it down, if Christ is with you and you are 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 know 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 are the only person in your family at this time which seems to be really going anywhere with Christ in your spiritual life. The rest of your family and friends are too busy and preoccuppied with other things, maybe even religion, to stand alone from the crowd and go on this spiritual journey. 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 would not be going to the other side with Christ, only a select few. It is this way because Christ has chosen for it to be this way. He doesn't want you standing on the side lines or sitting in the bleachers- He wants you in the game. Though there is 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 things moving out of our control invokes feelings of vulnerability and helplessness. When things move beyond our control, it appears to be much more than we can handle. It can seem like everything is about to collapse all around you, even beneath you.

What began as a joy ride with Jesus had turned surreal, worse than a nightmare- how quickly things can change. They were suddenly in the worst of circumstances you could possibly be in while traveling by boat. They must've assumed since they had Jesus with them it would be smooth sailing 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 divine intervention.

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

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 their circumstances continued to worsen and the boat began to fill up, they must've began to look for Christ. As they looked at the back of the ship, "You've got to be kidding me!" one of the disciples could have cried out. "Here we are ready to plummet to our death and there He is sound asleep as if nothing is happening. Doesn't He realize what's going on?" This is where our carnal mind can easily go when we allow circumstances to become bigger and more powerful to us than God and His purposes. Yet Christ had already declared to them, "Let us pass over unto the other side" knowing the end from the beginning.

Along with this, please remember these were not a bunch of amatures or green horns. 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've been a really bad storm. 'Just when you think you've been thru it all, something hits your life like never before. What will they do? What would you 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 totally 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, Christ 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 up, He spoke to the wind and waves, and they see the elements obey Him. Though the wind and the waves were anything but peaceful, they became that way because Christ told 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 get thru 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 and refuse 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've missed the whole point of this the way it is taught in the judeo churches. We were taught that the Disciples did the right thing by waking up Jesus to witness this awesome display of His power. Indeed, this was a magnificent example of how Christ had Omnipotent power as God in the flesh. BUT HE WAS NOT PLEASED AT ALL THAT THEY HAD WOKE HIM UP. The Christogenea New Testament renders a more literal and accurate translation here than most other translations including the King James Version: And He said to them, "Why are you cowards? Not yet do you have faith?" 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 from now and not panic like cowards, exposing our lack of faith.

Therefore we see, though He had the power to take care of this, it troubles Him greatly that they chose to wake Him up. In other words, God would rather us trust Him thru the storms of life rather than for us to expect Him to bail us out all the time. If we are going to be followers of Christ we must realize that being in the same boat with Him is trusting Him based on His purposes. For once again, Christ was the one who wanted for them all to go to the other side. Obviously His intention was to get some sleep while they were in the boat. WE MUST LEARN TO REST IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STORM.

Here we see the mental struggle outlined by Christ: we can either be fearful and have no faith, or we can be fearless, trust Christ, and have faith, it's that simple. There is nothing to fear as long as we remember that we are going to the other side only because Christ said so. If following thru with His purposes is to become the thrust your life and His goals are now your own, there is 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 to have fear and begin to trust God, especially when we know He is with us. When He has spoken to us and we understand where we are going, we must never question the inevitability of our arrival. When storms arise along the way and circumstances may seem impossible to overcome, rest assured, Christ is with you and you must follow His calm Example. God doesn't want us to be keyed-up when adversity and trials come our way. He wants you to trust that if He has invited you to go to the other side with Him, you will arrive there.

Doubtless, in retrospect, if the Disciples had it to do all over again, they would have realized there was a much better way for them to go with Christ to the other side. IT MAY SOUND CRAZY BUT IN OUR SPIRIT WE KNOW IT'S TRUE: THEY SHOULD HAVE EACH JUST FOUND THEMSELVES A PILLOW AND SLEPT THRU THE STORM WITH 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 over-reacted, when all we needed to do was relax, be still, and remember Who our God is.

REFLECTION

No matter how you react, if Christ has called you, you are in the same boat with Him. When you are finally convinced that this is the same God Who lives inside of you, you will find the power within to sleep thru the storm. We can have no doubt that if they would have just layed down and went to sleep, they would have still ended up on the other side as Christ had proclaimed they would from the beginning. Apply this principle to your personal storms and see how much God is pleased with you.