Summary: God uses the storms of our lives to shape us to be more like Christ
Apprenticing under the Master
Mark 4:35-41 September 11, 2005
Jesus and the Storm
When you were trained for your job, did your trainer ever give you a task that was too big for you to see how you did? This is what Jesus does here with his disciples
Jesus Calms the Storm
That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, "Let us go over to the other side." 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 no faith?"
They were terrified and asked each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!"
Those of you at camp last week would have heard me share that as we’ve been dealing with my sister’s illness and then death this spring and summer, Psalm 57 has really held me up – especially over the last few weeks.
Verse 1: “Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy!
I look to you for protection.
I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings
until this violent storm is past.”
Many of us have felt like we have had a stormy summer – through death or illness of loved ones, now this news of Richard’s cancer can make us fell like we are being battered by the waves. Obviously, for the people of New Orleans and other places raked by Katrina the storms of life are not metaphorical!
It’s good that we have come to this passage in Mark this week. It can give us comfort and wisdom as we are weathering the storms of life.
Jesus has been teaching by the shore of Galilee, the crowds were so big that he had to take a small boat and push off from shore and teach from there so that everyone could see and hear him. After teaching the crowds he and some of the disciples set off for the other shore in a small boat, and some other boats came as well.
Jesus is resting in the stern when a storm kicks up. Galilee was known for its sudden storms – it was surrounded by hills and the whether could change faster than you could respond to it. This was a big storm – even the seasoned fishermen of the disciples were afraid for their lives! But Jesus slept on.
The disciples wake him and say “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
Have you ever wanted to say this when you are in the middle of the storm? “God don’t you care that I’m drowning here?!”
When Pam & I heard about Richard, we asked the selfish question, “What is God doing?” – we aren’t over Faith’s illness and death and our good friend is diagnosed with cancer!
Up in Thunder Bay, one of their elders’ wife has just been diagnosed with very serious lung cancer. You wonder why they don’t get a break.
The disciples weren’t the first to accuse God of letting them drown – and you aren’t either.
The psalmist in Psalm 42 says, “Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls;
all Your waves and breakers have swept over me…
I say to God my Rock,
“Why have you forgotten me?”
Job says “The arrows of the Almighty are in me, my spirit drinks in their poison; God’s terrors are marshaled against me.” - Job 6:4
These guys are not just saying that God doesn’t care about their troubles, but that he sent them! These are pretty bold statements.
But as the storm is raging, or we are in pain we are liable to lash out at who ever is available. Sometimes the only one who is available to blame is God. The good thing is that he’s got big shoulders and he can take our complaint.
When you are angry with someone, the first person you should talk to about it is that person – it is the same with God.
The disciples wake Jesus and accuse him of not caring because he is not panicking like they are.
One time in grade 13 chemistry, some one put a hot spoon in the box of sulfur and the whole box caught on fire. I was the first to notice it. I’m not one to panic in emergencies, so I simply called out in a calm voice, “Sir, the sulfur is on fire over here.” At that point the whole class panicked! The teach put the fire out with the extinguisher and then came after me – since I was the only one in the class not panicking, I must be to blame!