Now I See
... when evening had come, He said to them, "Let us cross over to the other side." Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filing. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, "Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?" Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Peace, be still!" And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.But He said to them, "Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?" And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, "Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!" Mark 4:35-41 NKJ
When I was a new Christian and read this I just didn't get it. His words felt like a rebuke and I didn't understand why Jesus questioned their faith. After all, "A great windstorm arose," and it must have been an incredibly fierce storm for these men, experienced fishermen, to be so afraid. Plus their feelings of, "don't you care that we are perishing?" seemed pretty reasonable to me as well, after all, He was asleep in the boat! I also didn't understand why He said, "no faith." why not, "little faith?" To me it seemed that they had a little faith, they woke Him for help, they felt that if He wasn't sleeping they wouldn't be at the point of perishing. It seemed to me that they should at least rate, little faith.
Now years later, I've weathered a few storms of my own and I've grown in my faith to the place that my perspective has changed. Now I when I read this I notice different things.
For instance, now I see:
... that as soon as they woke Him, He dealt with their storm! He rebuked the wind, spoke to the waves and brought in its place, a great calm!
... that He was with them. He didn't send them across alone! They didn't have to weather the storm alone. He was in the boat with them! How many times did He say, "The kingdom of God is at hand." He was right there, at hand, ready to answer their cry for help.
... that He said, "no faith" for a reason. Faith is having confidence in His word and that He will do what He says he will! He said, "Let us cross over to the other side." He didn't say, "Let us cross over to the other side as long as its nice weather, or as long as there isn't a storm." They forgot the plan and got caught up in the storm! He had already spoken what was going to happen, crossing over to the other side!
... that He rebuked the wind, not them! Now I see His words as words of comfort and encouragement. When He is saying,"Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?" I know that He is trying to calm their fears and to speak to them about their ability to trust Him because of who He is. They too where fairly new believers and His words now remind me of when, as a foster parent, I try to calm the fears of my little guys as they come into my home. In the first few weeks I often have to say reassuring things like, "You don't have to be afraid, there are no monsters here. There are no monsters allowed in my home. Trust me." "You don't have to be scared. Your safe here. I promise." "There is nothing to be afraid of, I'll keep you safe." The first night they don't believe me, but the longer they stay and get to know me and to trust me, the safer they get. They learn that my words are true. His words,"Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?" no longer look like a rebuke but more like, "You don't have to be afraid, trust me, there are no monsters under your bed. Honest!"
... "Don't you care that we are perishing?" ... He cares and He has a plan ... For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16
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