He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. – Matthew 8:26
Let’s face it – we all have storms in our lives. Sometimes we see it coming and sometimes we don’t. Some storms come from nowhere after a beautiful sunny summer’s day. The day that started so well and held so much promise suddenly turns into a dark and fearful one as the storm arrives and wreaks havoc.
The disciples experienced one particular storm where everything started out fine. Jesus had decided to go to the other side of the lake and the disciples went with him. Now, if there was a storm approaching, the disciples along with the other people who set out at the same time (Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. – Mark 4:36) wouldn’t have left the shore. As experienced fishermen, they knew it would be foolish to get caught on the lake in a storm.
When Jesus and the disciples left everything must have been calm and looking good. There was no need to be alarmed as they didn’t hesitate to get into the boat. Even after they left, everyone was relaxed and Jesus, himself, fell asleep. There was no hint of the troubles to come – it was going to be smooth sailing all the way to the opposite shore.
Suddenly, the storm came and the disciples found themselves in danger as they feared the worst. The three accounts of this in The Bible do not mention how long it was before they went to Jesus and woke him up. Maybe at first, they tried decided to ride out the storm as they probably had done so in the past. As things got worse and the boat was close to capsizing, they went to Jesus and asked him for help. Jesus rebuked the storm and everything calmed down again.
Our reaction to unexpected storms is in ways like the disciples. You find yourself in a situation where everything has been smooth sailing and then for some unknown reason, the storm hits and everything is turned upside down. You become fearful of what you think is going to happen and try to do what you can to stop it. When that fails or you become too scared or worried about the future, that is when you go to Jesus and ask for his help. Jesus answers our cry and we soon realise that all is well.
Jesus uses the storms in and lives to test us and help our faith in Him to grow. There are times that He will deliberately send us towards a storm. The journey towards may start out calmly and trouble-free but after a while, we encounter the storm because the world we live in is not perfect. Most of the time the things we do in life may seem calm but the warning signs are there. Maybe the disciples and the other people who sailed on that day missed them but Jesus didn’t. He knew what was coming and he hopes that we are ready for it.
After he had rebuked the storm, Jesus admonished the disciples and asked where their faith was. He probably felt disappointment at their lack of it. He was in the boat with them and yet they forgot about him when the storm first set in. It is the same with us as we focus in on our storm and become fearful of what may happen that we forget Jesus is with us and that he will calm the storm.
Every time we face a storm, we must remember that Jesus is in the boat with us. The sooner we go to Him and give our fears and worries, the sooner he will calm us and the things around us. Remember, it is all part of the refining process so that we can stand firm and strong in the end.