Authored by Martha Dodd
Read: Mark 4:35-41
“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. 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!”
Each of us, at some point in our lives, has experienced a storm – a health crisis, job loss, bereavement, pressures at work, relationship difficulties, doubt, or disappointment. And this week, we mark one year since the global pandemic touched our community, bringing about many far-reaching changes that have caused loss, isolation, exhaustion, anxiety, and pain. Right now, we are ‘all in the same boat’, and there may have been times over the past year when it felt as if the waves were breaking over the boat, threatening to overwhelm it…and us. “Lord, don’t you care…?”
Take some time to re-read Mark 4:35-41, and ask yourself what do the disciples learn about Jesus, and how do they learn it?
Prior to this, the disciples had only witnessed Jesus healing others, but now their own lives were in peril. One author says of this moment, “For these novice disciples, it was one thing to marvel at a miracle of healing. That was something that happened to somebody else. But to have your own life thrown into jeopardy, to be reduced to quivering fear and terror, to believe that your life is over, and then to have Jesus calm the storm, well, that is another matter.” * In the presence of Jesus, the disciples survived the storm and got to the other side. But in the process, this experience caused them to re-examine what they thought they knew about Jesus, and they started asking the right question – ‘Who is this?’
Lord, don’t you care? The answer is YES, He does care. One of the disciples in the boat that day, wrote some 30 years later, “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7) Peter had learned firsthand about Jesus’ care for him during storms – physical, emotional, and spiritual ones. And because of that care, he encourages us to cast all our anxiety on Jesus. The word ‘cast’ means ‘to throw’ and in order to throw something, we have to let go.
A friend reminded me once that while Jesus can quiet the storms around us, perhaps more importantly, He can quiet the storms raging inside us. As we choose to abide, cast all our anxiety, trust, and yes, cry out to Him, the Holy Spirit transforms us, and we gradually emerge from the storm with a clearer picture of Jesus, our Saviour and Friend. We may still have questions, but we come to a place of deeper knowing that His presence in us (John 14:23) sustains us through any storm we will ever face.
Almighty God, You are my refuge and strength, an always-present help in time of trouble (Psalm 46:1). Please enable me to get to the root of my anxious thoughts and help me to reaffirm my trust in You today by casting all my anxiety on You. Thank you that You care for me.
Scott Walker – Footsteps of the Fisherman p. 26