Bible Reading: Mark 4:35-41
Why are you so afraid? Do you still not have faith in me? Mark 4:40
THE AFTERNOON SUN dipped behind the rolling hills as a small boat carrying Jesus and his disciples set out across the Sea of Galilee. After a day of teaching, the Master was exhausted. So he found a quiet spot in the stern and was soon asleep.
The gentle breeze that had launched their boat quickly mounted to a stiff wind that filled the sails and rippled the surface of the water with whitecaps. Within minutes fierce downdrafts howled through the riggings, and huge waves crashed against the side of the boat. The disciples frantically tied down the sail while the boat tipped and water sloshed in by the gallons. But Jesus slept on undisturbed.
The disciples panicked. They shook Jesus awake and screamed at him over the roaring wind and crashing waves, “We’re about to go under! Don’t you care?”
The Master rose and shouted back at the wind, “Be quiet,” and to the sea, “Be still.” Almost immediately the killer gale dwindled to a whisper and the vicious waves subsided to a great calm.
“Why were you so stressed?” Jesus asked as the trembling disciples stared out over the suddenly tranquil lake. “Haven’t you learned to trust your lives to God in such a simple thing as a storm?” The disciples hadn’t trusted God. They were too worried about losing their lives.
You possess a drive to preserve your life — everyone does. You’re born with the will to survive. But the will to survive is not always enough to keep people alive, for most people die against their own will. Your survival instinct tells you to drive on the correct side of the road, but you can’t control whether the driver coming toward you will stay in his lane. Face it: You aren’t all-powerful, so sometimes tragic events will overpower you. At some point in your life, you have to learn to say honestIy and reverently: “Lord, my life is in your hands.”
And that’s one truth Jesus wanted his disciples to learn from the storm. Nothing that will ever happen to you is a surprise to God. He knows what your life holds, including its duration (see Psalm 139:16). And since you can’t stretch your lives beyond what he plans (see Matthew 6:27), you need not fear death. The Lord of life won’t let your life end until his plan for you on earth is complete.
Are you scared to die? Jesus wasn’t angry with his disciples for panicking in the storm, and God isn’t angry with you for pushing out of your mind the thought of your own death. But he wants you to grow in trust. As you learn to trust him, you can face any storm, no matter how terrifying.
REFLECT: How does it comfort you to know that your life is in God’s hands?
PRAY: Lord, when storms brew in my life, I trust you to take care of me. My life is in your hands.