Mark Chapter 11:
35 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” 36 And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling.38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39 And he awoke andrebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” 41 And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
There have been many times in my life, even recently, where I have cried out in own words to God, asking, “Teacher, don’t you care that …” fill in the blank. Sometimes, I don’t feel it, or I just forget. But usually, I’m asking God if He cares because I don’t understand. I want to have faith, but having understanding, knowing why—it feels safer. It’s easier. Having faith when we don’t understand—that’s the hardest. We’re human! We like to think and reason; we like black and white. We like answers! I just went from I to we because I’m going to pretend you’re all a little (or a lot) like me sometimes.
But Jesus says to me, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” He’s not saying, “You failed. Now Imma let you drown.” He’s not saying, “Things would have ended differently if you had more faith.” And He isn’t saying, “If you had faith in the first place, this never would’ve happened!” Our faith doesn’t change the circumstances. God is already in control. Our faith is trusting that God is in control. Our faith brings the perseverance and peace to make it through. When I don’t feel it. When I forget. Or when I don’t understand.
When I read this passage yesterday, I thought of David and the army of the Israelites. What if one of the disciples had David’s faith in that moment? “Guys! Wait! Check this out! I can’t wait to see how Jesus takes care of us! Because of course He will. He’s God!” I think it would’ve been the same story–Jesus calming the sea–just a lot less anxiety and stress.
“Who is this that even the wind and the sea obey him?” Well, He’s someone I should probably trust. I should have faith that He’s going to bring me through whatever comes my way.
The object of this lesson is that God is faithful to us. always. Their lack of faith didn’t cause the storm, nor did it stop Jesus from calming the storm. He knew they didn’t understand. He knows we forget. He knows I don’t always feel it. He’s God. So He puts his arms around us and says, “Why are you so afraid?” I don’t think He says, “Why are you so afraid, you idiot! When are you going to learn!?” He calmed the storm to remind them that He is faithful. And then He asked them to trust Him. always.