Storms happen all the time on the Sea of Galilee, but apparently this was a pretty bad one, because even the seasoned sailors were freaking out.
Meanwhile, Jesus was asleep in the stern of the boat. Now, in a broad sense, God never sleeps. He’s always aware of what we’re going through. The Bible tells us that “He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep” (Psalm 121:4 NKJV).
Jesus was fully God, but He also was fully man. So, He was asleep, exhausted, and drained from the activities of the day. Interestingly, the storm did not awaken Him, but the cry of his disciples did.
God Knows of Our Storms
Here’s what happened next: “Then [Jesus] arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace, be still!’ And the wind ceased and there was a great calm” (Mark 4:39 NKJV).
From the original language, the phrase “peace be still” also could be translated, “Peace be muzzled,” as though Jesus were talking to an aggressive wild animal or dog. Awhile back, my wife and I were walking in our neighborhood, and as we went through a little park, someone was approaching with a small, yappy dog. And sure enough, that little dog bit Cathe on the ankle and broke the skin. Now we jokingly call that park Dog Bite Park. We memorialized it in a way.
Jesus muzzled that storm. He would not be stopped, because He was on His way to reach a man who had been tragically taken over by the power of demons. And it was not one demon or 10 demons. It was many demons.
This reminds us of how God loves us. Jesus told the story of a shepherd who had 100 sheep, and one went one astray. So that shepherd left the 99 others and sought out the one stray sheep. When he found it, he wrapped it around his neck and brought it back, rejoicing (see Luke 15:1–7). That is how Jesus is.
Maybe you’re going through a storm; a hardship, difficulty, or perhaps even a tragedy. It’s a powerful storm, and you feel like saying, just as the disciples did, “Do You not care that we are perishing?” (Mark 4:38 NKJV) In other words, “Don’t You care that I’m in trouble right now? Are you even paying attention?”
Storms will come into our lives. Sometimes God Himself will send the storm, as He did in the case of Jonah, who was disobedient to Him. God told Jonah to go and preach to the city of Nineveh, and Jonah said no. We might say that Jonah was the original chicken of the sea, going the wrong direction and running from God.
But God always has the last word. He sent a mighty storm, and it was through the storm that He got Jonah’s attention.
Why We Face Troubles
Like Jonah, we can sometimes bring storms on ourselves because of our disobedience. You might be in a situation right now where you’re effectively reaping the consequences of your actions. Maybe you’re asking, “Why is this happening to me?” But the chickens have come home to roost, so to speak.
Used with permission from Greg Laurie.