Mark 4:35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.”
Have you ever noticed how sometimes it seems that life can be filled with stretching and demanding difficulties and problems that all demand our attention – right now! Everything seems to happen at once? While such times can be filled with pleasures and wonderful experiences, that isn’t usually the case.
Then when we think our plate is as full as it can get, something more piles on and we feel like we’re about to go under. In times like these, when the situation seems to go from bad to worse with no let up in sight, my primary reaction is to view myself as having been ‘set up’ by the Lord. I ‘see’ a great big sign in the sky above me that says, “This is a test!”
The story involved in today’s verse is something similar. The disciples think they are just going across the lake to get to the other side – just like the chicken crossing the road. Little did they know what was in store for them. There was this storm awaiting them. The good news is that Jesus was with them. The bad news was that not only was he sleeping through the storm, but here is how this storm is described in scripture: 1) furious squall, 2) waves broke over the boat, 3) the boat was being swamped, 4) there were raging waters, 4) they were in great danger!
Think about these descriptions from the gospels and remember many of these disciples had worked on the water so they could recognize their situation. It wasn’t just a storm, it
was a furious squall. They were not just contending with wind and waves but with raging waters and the boat was being swamped. On top of that, scripture declares that they were in great danger. This wasn’t just a storm made to sound worse through later retelling, like a fish story. They think they’re going to drown and Jesus asks them, “Where is your faith?”
We too might feel like our circumstances are a furious squall – our boat is being swamped and we’re to go under. But the Lord is with us! Our situation didn’t catch Him by surprise. Instead of feeling like we are threatened by the storm, we can rejoice in the opportunity to stand in the midst of it, with our faith focused on Him. Instead of feeling like we are overwhelmed and facing each day with dread, we can be filled with gratitude for the ‘testing opportunity’ He has given us. He’s watching and enabling us to glorify Him in the midst of it. What an opportunity!!!