Why are you so afraid?

A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown? He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” Mark 4:37-41 NIV

You rule over the surging sea; when its waves mount up, you still them. Psalm 89:9 NIV

He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. Psalm 107:29 NIV

Have you ever felt as though the waves of the sea would overcome you? Have the waves battered you to such a degree you feared for your life?

Metaphorically, these questions can refer to any tempest in your life, but just now, I’m speaking very literally. I’m in the middle of the Atlantic and my ship is pitching and rolling with the waves.

I know our vessel will remain afloat and God is with us. Nevertheless, each crash against the port tempts me to fear. Why are you so afraid?

The passage of Jesus calming the sea at once brings my heart comfort ( a reminder to think on things true – Philippians 4:8). The disciples think they’re going to drown, while Jesus sleeps comfortably. And when they wake him, Jesus turns and cries out, “Quiet! Be still!” and the wind and waves immediately calm. But his first question to the disciples is, “Why are you so afraid?”

A moment before, their circumstances were life threatening – furious squall, surging water, nearly swamped! How can he ask such a question? But now everything’s changed. The sea is quiet.

They hadn’t understood WHO was sleeping in their boat. The Psalmist says, God rules over the surging sea and can still a storm with a whisper. So consumed by fear, they didn’t recognize HIS presence in their boat.

In awe of the power and authority of the Son of God, they have no response.

I hate to admit it, but circumstances beyond my control cause me to fear. So quickly, I forget who indwells me – the One with the power to silence the storms with a whisper. Circumstances alter, but Jesus is the same and his promises are sure.

So, although the waves continue to buffet our ship, I choose to remember Jesus is with me. He is sovereign over every event. And as the Wandering Albatross comes into view, I thank God for his compassionate love which rises up as majestically and fills my heart with joy.

Penfold, Trevor. “Wandering Albatross.” Australian Geographic Photographer of the Year, 2017, naturephotographeroftheyear.com.au/gallery/2017/wandering-albatross/.

You answer us with awesome and righteous deeds, God our Savior, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas, who formed the mountains by your power, having armed yourself with strength, who stilled the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, and the turmoil of the nations. The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy. Psalm 65:5-8 NIV

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