35 On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.” 36 Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. 38 But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”
39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. 40 But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” 41 And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”
The disciples were right in a few things. They were “following” the Lord. Others sought the Lord for curiosity’s sake, for entertainment, for contempt, but the disciples had fledgling faith. They also knew to go to Him in their troubles. That can be commendable.
Mark’s account gives us the most vivid details, describing how the waves were filling the boat. The thought that stayed with me was in verse 38, that our Savior was “asleep on a pillow”. I can’t imagine a pillow being a usual item packed in a fishing boat. Was it a makeshift pillow of fisherman’s garments and nets, or was it a pillow He brought just for the occasion?
But, He was sound asleep on a pillow.
When His follower’s come to Him and beg for intervention it seems accusatory.
“Do you not care that we are perishing?”
Don’t we often accuse the Lord the same when in trials and tribulations? “Don’t you care Lord? Don’t you know how I am suffering? Why won’t you do anything about this?” Our self-pity convinces us that the Lord has forgotten us and has left us to disaster, but in truth we are too full of ourselves and not enough of the Lord to see what He is performing in our lives. If he doesn’t answer our prayers in our way and in our time, we falsely accuse Him.
Although the elements were obeying His command to cause turmoil, the Lord rebukes the wind and tells the sea to be still in reaction to the disciples unbelief. To the men who were not obeying His prior call to faith He asks, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” He had just expounded to them the parables of the soils and the mustard seed.
When the Lord calmed the sea, the men marveled and showed their ignorance, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”
Don’t we also show our ignorance when we cry out to the Lord and are surprised how He answers?
The surprise is because we don’t understand the eternal view, and neither did the disciples. Yes, the Lord controls the wave and the sea. He heard their impassioned pleas and He acted to answer. But, their lack of faith and understanding of the Man goes so deep.
Not only did He calm the storm, HE CAUSED IT.
Psalm 107:23- 25, “Those who go down to the sea in ships, Who do business on great waters, They see the works of the LORD, And His wonders in the deep. For He commands and raises the stormy wind, Which lifts up the waves of the sea.”
Was His command only to the billowing waves, or was it for our hearts’ benefit as well?
Peace, be still!
Peace, siopao, be silent, and be still, phimoo, hold mouth as with a muzzle.
Or, as we would tell little children, “be quiet and stay quiet!”
He wanted the disciples to understand that He was in control and they didn’t need to fret.
They should have marveled that He caused the billowing waves to perfect their faith. They should have prayed in faith and stood in that sinking boat, their eyes fixed on Him, allowing Him to sleep, and believing that He would calm the waves. If they had exercised faith, would their faith have calmed the storm and not the command of the One they accused of not caring? We can only speculate, but we do know this – The Lord needs us to understand the waves in our lives.
We must worship Him when He causes the storm, trusting what He causes or allows in our lives.
We must worship Him while we are enduring the storm, knowing that He cares.
We must worship Him when the storm is calmed, giving Him glory for what He brought us through.
As we understand the waves with our mustard-seed faith,we should be able to lay our heads on a pillow and sleep through the storms of life, just like the Lord.
Sweet dreams, friends.
~ Tandis ~ says
Very encouraging, especially after my last email to you. Thank you.
Jaime Kubik says
Mindy, check out my blog when you get a chance…I gave you an award and now you have to pass it along! I hope you have a wonderful week. Still praying for the 25 and the 2nd.
I enjoyed reading your blog. You are an inspiration to me. Have a blessed week.Missy
Jaime Kubik says
Mindy, thank you for this devotion. I have been reading a lot about faith. I say I have faith in God, but do I exercise it? I was reading in James about Abraham's faith. He took Isaac up on the mountain for sacrifice knowing God would provide. Can I say I have that kind of faith? Faith doesn't worry. Faith doesn't weep. Faith worships. Yet, I find that I worry and weep and beg and plead. If one reads the Psalms, David is forever begging for mercy and expressing words of fear and pain. (And David was a man after God's own heart.) I am often perplexed by Abraham's faith, David's faith and the story of the widow in Luke 18. If I don't continue to send up requests day in and day out, am I not being faithful there as well? What are your thoughts? I pray for the same things daily. I am a weak and sinful creature, because certain prayer requests often make me worry and weep. How can I be completely faithful? I want to please my God. And yet I find myself going back and forth about what it is God expects/wants me to do based on what I read in scripture.
I love this Bible story more and more as years go by. Recently I as well have been struck by the fact that true faith can sleep through the storms. Thank you for the reminder that God causes them as well. His will, not ours is calling the shots. ~Erin