Reading: Mark 4: 35-41
Verse 40: “He said to His disciples, ‘Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith'”?
Today’s passage is a microcosm of our faith. We fluctuate between periods of doubt and faith just like the disciples did. They have just heard the parable of the mustard seed – how the smallest seed of faith can grow into this large plant. With this nugget in mind, they get into the boat and head over to the other side. Ah, a little peace and quiet for this busy crew. As they cross the lake, some time to ponder this journey with Jesus. Reflecting on His last few parables, the disciples must have felt safe and blessed.
Then a “furious squall came up”. A storm of life arises. Instead of trusting in their faith, doubt and fear creep in. How often this is the case with us as well. Life seems good, things are rolling along, we are settled in for the ride. Then suddenly a storm in around us. One of our children is in trouble or a health scare pops up for our spouse. Like the disciples, we feel “swamped”. Concern and doubt and fear rushes in. And Jesus sleeps quietly in the stern, ready in a moment’s notice, yet presently resting peacefully.
When they cannot take it any longer, the disciples awaken Jesus. He got up and rebuked the wind and calms the storm. In our journeys, when our storms begin to rage, we too do not turn to Jesus right away. We think we can handle it. Only when it gets to a certain point do we do what the disciples did: turn to Jesus. At that point He does the same thing for us: He calls our fears and our doubts, the waves of life.
I can picture Jesus taking a moment to look out over the calm waters before turning to the disciples and saying, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith”? I think His voice was partly remorseful and partly compassionate. All this time with the disciples and so little faith. I imagine He thinks the same thing with us at times. As we journey with Jesus, may we walk more steadily with Him – through the calm and through the storms, trusting in His love and care. May we turn quickly to Him all of the time. May we trust in Him. Amen.