Mark 4:37-40 – And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And [Jesus] was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, "Master, carest thou not that we perish?" And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, "Peace, be still." And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, "Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?" (KJV)
I have very recently been through a very stressful few weeks in my life. My job has had me away from home for 11 hours each day. Upon returning home in the evenings, I have often been so tired and mentally drained that I have not even had the energy to play with my two-month-old daughter. This has caused some tension between my wife and myself. She spends all day with our daughter caring for her, holding her when she cries, feeding her, doing all the things a mother does. So when I come home, she is ready for a "break". Unfortunately, I have not always been able to give her one. I love spending time with my daughter and wife more than anything, but I want it to be quality time, and not leftover, energy-less time.
It has been quite difficult for me to deal with this, as well as for my wife. I think we both have felt like we were on a sinking ship. That is why the above verses spoke so boldly to me.
In these verses the disciples find themselves quite literally on a ship that they feared was sinking. A tremendous storm had arisen, and water was flooding into the ship. Through the midst of all of this, their Master and leader was sleeping. They felt that their lives were in great danger. They, in my interpretation, were somewhat angry and upset that Jesus would allow all of this to happen while He just lay there and slept.
Upon being awakened, Jesus first calmed the storm with three simple words, and then He rebuked His disciples for their lack of faith. He questions, "How is it that you have no faith?" as if to say, "If I (Jesus) am in your boat, how could it possibly sink?" Here the disciples were on a boat with the very one who had created the waters and the seas, and yet they had so little faith that they feared for their lives.
It is easy for us as Christians to look at the disciples and question their faith, yet we are guilty of the same lack of faith in our daily lives. We have Jesus living inside of us; He is always on board when our boats set out to sea. Yet we let the stresses and problems of life overtake us to the point that we think our boat is about to sink.
Regardless of the source of our stress, whether it is from overload at work, boredom at work, placement on a new project, tension with family members, or struggles at our churches, the simple fact of the matter is this: if Jesus is in our boat, it can never sink! All we as Christians have to do is show a little faith when times get difficult. It is easy for us to call ourselves faithful when things are going well and our boat is sailing smoothly along, but the true test of faith is when the storms and tides start to come in.
If Jesus is in our boat, we will never sink. If Jesus is not in our boat, perhaps we need to find Him as our new Captain.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, we just want to give You praise and thanks for keeping our boats afloat during the difficult times in our lives. We ask that You will strengthen our faith, so that we can weather the storms and tribulations that come our way. Amen.