“Late that day he said to them, ‘Let’s go across to the other side.’ They took him in the boat as he was. Other boats came along. A huge storm came up. Waves poured into the boat, threatening to sink it. And Jesus was in the stern, head on a pillow, sleeping! They roused him, saying, ‘Teacher, is it nothing to you that we’re going down?’

Awake now, he told the wind to pipe down and said to the sea, ‘Quiet! Settle down!’ The wind ran out of breath; the sea became smooth as glass. Jesus reprimanded the disciples: ‘Why are you such cowards? Don’t you have any faith at all?’

They were in absolute awe, staggered. ‘Who is this, anyway?’ they asked. ‘Wind and sea at his beck and call’!” Mark 4:35-41 (MSG)


Jesus and the disciples got in a boat after a full day of teaching. As they made their way across the sea, Jesus was tired, and a nap seemed fitting. He made His way to the stern of the boat, and it didn’t take long for Him to fall asleep. While Jesus was sleeping, the disciples’ experience of an ordinary day with an ordinary boat ride was challenged when a storm threatened to overtake them. More than just an initial panic, the disciples felt the fear that they might lose their lives. As the waves crashed in around them and their clothes were drenched with water, they were probably imagining the worst case scenario. They had most likely heard stories of others who had lost their life at sea. Fear started screaming, and it led to a frantic search for Jesus. In the midst of the waves threatening to capsize their boat, Jesus was in the boat, yet He was sleeping. With their words dripping with fear, the disciples’ core question was if Jesus really cared about them in midst of the storm. Did it matter to Him that this could be their last boat ride? They didn’t even ask Jesus what He could do or state their belief in Him. When fear speaks, faith has no opportunity to surface. It all changed as Jesus took command of the situation. With faith and authority, Jesus looked at the waves and looked back at the disciples trembling in fear and silenced the storm. Jesus looked at the fear in their hearts and silenced it. When Jesus saw their lack of faith, He questioned them. Instead of faith, fear took over, and it turned courageous men into cowards.

In our lives, fear tries to surface in the midst of the storms of life. It can take a person of faith and erode their trust in God. What storm are you currently facing? As you face that difficulty, are you allowing faith or fear to take over? We want to be people of faith, but sometimes our words don’t reflect that desire. Fear tends to see the worst case scenario. When fear speaks, doubt is dripping from its words. One way that our fears can be silenced is by the realization that Jesus is in the boat with us. Though the storms of life are raging and threaten to overtake us, His presence will change us. Jesus was sleeping, but His presence directed the boat. He had authority over the storm. Jesus was at rest in the storm, and He invites us into that rest. Fear cuts off our faith at the source. We have to retrain our hearts and minds to overcome fear with faith, believing God. As we face storms, may we be courageous and full faith, trusting God’s presence to guide us.

Scripture taken from THE MESSAGE. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002.  Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.