Summary: Jesus has the power to calm storms in nature, our own personal storms, and every other crisis in life
Mark 4:35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, "Let us go over to the other side." 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 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?" 39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. 40 He said to his disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?" 41 They were terrified and asked each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!"
I was looking at this painting, and at first, I wasn't very impressed. It was the picture of storm - dark clouds and rain on the top, and a turbulent ocean with big waves on the bottom. Right in the middle of the painting was the picture of a rock, with the waves were crashing down on the rock and the rain pouring down on top of it. It was a nice piece of art, but not that great, I thought. Just a storm.
But then I looked more closely, and there was a little bit of the color red in the middle of the rock. It was a bird, sitting in the recess of the rock, his red color contrasting all the dark colors around him. Now I was starting to understand the painting. And do you know what the bird was doing as it sat in that rock in the middle of the storm? His eyes were closed - he was sleeping. It was the picture of perfect peace even as the storm raged around the bird. It made me think of our text today about the storm and Jesus calming the storm.
In that story, the disciples are like the bird. And Jesus is their rock, their refuge in the storm. Is Jesus your refuge, your rock, when you face storms? Today we are going to talk about the storms we face as Christians, and we are going to talk about Jesus, and his amazing and shocking power to help us as we face problems and trials and difficulties.
In Mark chapter 4, the story goes from peaceful to frightful very quickly. Isn't that how life is sometimes? One moment you are driving to work, changing the radio station in your car. The next moment, you're in a car accident and you can't feel your legs.
Look at what happens here - Jesus and the disciples get into a boat to cross to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. Now that sea is famous for its sudden intense storms. It sits 700 feet below sea level, so the air is very warm. And just 30 miles away are mountains, almost 10,000 feet high. The cold air from the mountains was always swooping down and clashing with the warm air, and you would get these raging thunderstorms coming out of nowhere.
That's what happened here. A furious squall came up. Water was filling up the boat. The disciples were afraid - it was one of the most powerful storms they had ever seen. Now remember, these disciples aren't the kind of people that would get scared easily - they are fishermen for a living. They're on the water all the time - they grew up that way - they've seen all kinds of storms. But this was different - this storm was so strong, they thought they were going to die.
Have you ever been caught in a storm like that? We live in a world that's famous for its sudden intense storms. Everything is calm - you have to get a blood test for a routine health examination. The next thing you know, you're lying on a bed staring at the ceiling lights and they're wheeling you into the operating room. You've been sick before, but this is different. You might actually die.
You've had money problems before, financial setbacks, and things like that. But this storm is different. You might actually lose your house. You've had marital problems before, or relationship problems before - but this storm is different. He, or she, might not come back. It might be over, it's all your fault and you might be alone.
The worst kind of storm is a guilt storm - one minute you're living a good life - and the next moment, you make that bad decision, you say something you shouldn't have said - the sin you committed didn't take long - less than a minute - and now you feel ashamed and guilty and it won't go away - you are in the middle of a storm of guilt and shame.