He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. Mark 4:39
Night had draped its dark curtain around the Sea of Galilee. The Palestinian sky, which usually had countless stars, was darkened with an ever-increasing number of black storm clouds. Thirteen men made their way to the water's edge. One by one they entered a waiting ship, and when all were on board, they launched out onto the choppy waters, and steered for the opposite shore.
The activities of the past few days had wearied all of them, for the twelve had followed their teacher throughout the many small villages and cities of Galilee.
As the clouds grew darker and the wind began to increase, those aboard the little vessel grew somewhat apprehensive, but their Teacher seemed undisturbed by the approaching storm and made His way below to rest from His strenuous pace.
Thousands, each with his own needs and burdens, had thronged the dusty roads leading out of the villages and towns to hear the prophet called Jesus of Nazareth; and in spite of their sometimes thoughtless pushing and shouting, the compassionate Jesus always had time to teach and heal. His patience with them seemed to be infinite. He preached to them, prayed with them, healed them, and instructed them, and finally when the crowds had been sent away, Jesus would find a quiet spot to rest. That night the place was in the bottom of a ship whose bow was pointed toward the opposite shore of the Sea of Galilee. Oblivious to the shouts of instruction on the part of those who were readying the ship for the approaching storm, He fell asleep.
Almost before they knew it, they were in trouble. The black clouds began to empty torrents of rain; the choppy waves became a raging surf threatening to swallow their craft with each new swell. The storm tossed the small ship like a wooden chip. Strong backs and muscular arms strained in desperation against the elements. Bare feet braced themselves, quick hands grabbed, pulled, pushed, and held on tightly as the fight for survival played out.
As the drama heightened, it became increasingly evident that the storm was winning. Man after man was forced on the defensive, and each man was eventually fearfully clinging to some part of the ship, hoping against hope that by some miracle they could be saved.
One of the men was thrown near the doorway that led down narrow steps to the hold of the ship. Clinging to the ropes that hung from the rigging, he made his way into the doorway, half pulling himself, half falling. Drenched and exhausted, he flung the words at Jesus, "Master! Master! Save us! Do You not care that we perish?"
Jesus got up and made His way to the tossing deck. Possibly one of Jesus' hands clung to the rigging and the other He raised slowly and deliberately over His head. "Peace! Be still!" He cried. The immediate calm was almost as frightening to the disciples as the raging storm had been. They rose to their feet, stared blankly at one another and then almost at once, they all dropped to their knees before Jesus exclaiming, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!" (Mark 4:41).
This question of nearly two thousand years ago is relevant to you, too: "Who is this?" and "Where is your faith?" If what I have shared with you seems overly melodramatic, you should hear some of the testimonies of those whose lives were in shambles, and in desperation they cried out to God for help, and He turned their storms into calm. Thank God, Christ has had experience calming the water, our fears, our troubled hearts, and He does it for the asking. It's still true today.
Resource reading: Mark 4:35-41