A great gale arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, ‘Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?’ He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’ Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, ‘Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?’ And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, ‘Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?’ (Mark 4:37-41)
Does Jesus ever panic? Because we sure do. When the waves swell and the boat rocks off its axis, we wonder if Jesus cares. Yet he slumbers on without any regard for the mounting dangers. What does it take to rouse our Messiah?
Perhaps we should ask if we are ready for Jesus to awaken. In a demonstration of power, he reveals how stubborn we can be, shamed by the obedience of the wind and the sea. I am forced to search my own heart: do I prefer the storms generated by my own poor choices, or would I prefer the awesome and intimidating presence of Jesus that demands obedience?
A prayer from a fitting hymn:
Jesus, Savior, pilot me
Over life’s tempestuous sea;
Unknown waves before me roll,
Hiding rock and treacherous shoal.
Chart and compass come from Thee;
Jesus, Savior, pilot me.
Danny Yang — curious, restless mess