Monday, May 23, 2016

Who Controls the Storm?

In Mark 4, the disciples find themselves in the midst of a severe storm that threaten to sink them. In great fear and urgency they plead with Jesus, who is sleeping in back of the boat, saying "don't you care about us?"

What happens? Jesus wakes up, yells at the winds and the waves and peace ensues. The disciples are saved and they go on their way. But Jesus points out to the disciples an important lesson of having faith in him.

The passage concludes with the disciples asking one another, "Who then is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?" They marvel at the power of Jesus to control a sudden, life threatening storm that no man could overcome.

I wonder if the disciples thought a little further and thought about who brought the storm in the first place. If Jesus could subside the storm because he is God, could he not have prevented the storm from happening in the first place? Why put his disciples in a dire circumstance? For play and fun?

The storm came because of Jesus's love for his disciples. Jesus wanted them to see who he is. Without experiencing the storm and seeing the power of God over it, the disciples could only have a theoretical understanding of the nature of Jesus. But when the storm comes, theory becomes a visceral reality. Jesus's divine nature goes from an abstraction to immediate reality. As a result, the disciples gain a kind of peace and hope that they did not have before. The Lord of creation is with them and is for them. Is there a greater security than that?

For those who follow Jesus, there will inevitably come dire storms. We should know that the presence of such threat is not mutually exclusive with a loving God. We can learn from this passage four important things:

1. Jesus is God who controls all things.
2. Even the storms in our lives are sent out of God's love for us.
3. If we know that God is with us, we need not fear even the direst circumstances.
4. Our relationship with God is more valuable than our physical security.

Let us have faith in Jesus who will never leave nor forsake us.

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.   - Romans 8:37-39

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