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Mark 4:35-41

Calm

Sometimes God calms the storm, sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child.

Source unknown

Facing Hardships

Even when believers follow Christ’s bidding, they may face hardships. For example, Jesus’ disciples were doing God’s will when they took Him across the lake, for he had commanded them to do so. Yet they were buffeted by a dreadful tempest, and they seemed to be in danger of drowning. A storm - and Christ on board! It seems a contradiction. Wouldn’t His presence ensure a peaceful journey? Not at all! Life frequently becomes more difficult after a person has accepted Christ as Savior and Lord. The Christian encounters the devil’s opposition. But a storm - and Christ asleep! That even deepens the perplexity! Our Lord’s silence, the frustrating delays, the mysteries of his dealings - these are too profound for us to understand. Yet we can be certain that His purpose in testing our faith is to strengthen it. God will surly fulfill his plan for us through our struggles, and His deliverance will lead us to praise Him.

Needless fears beset the disciples because they did not trust Jesus words. If they had just thought for a moment, they would have remembered that he had said, “Let us pass over unto the other side.” He didn’t say, “Let us go to the middle of the lake and be drowned.” They should have been saying to the raging waves, “You can do us no harm, for Christ the mighty Savior is on board!”

Our Daily Bread, Feb. 16

Red Skelton

In 1951 comedian Red Skelton and a party of friends flew to Europe, where Skelton was to appear at the London Palladium. As they were flying over the Swiss Alps, three of the airplane’s engines failed. The situation looked very grave and the passengers began to pray. Skelton went into one of his best comic routines to distract them from the emergency as the plane lost height, coming closer and closer to the ominous-looking mountains. At the last moment the pilot spied a large field among the slopes and made a perfect landing. Skelton broke the relieved silence by saying, “Now, ladies and gentlemen, you may return to the evil habits you gave up 20 minutes ago.”

Skelton’s joking advice underscored the truth that whatever religious “commitments” those terrified passengers may have made were strictly temporary. The minute they stepped safely out of that aircraft, all deals with God were canceled.

But for the disciples of Jesus, there were no temporary commitments or cancellations. Once they stepped into the boat with Him, as it were, they were on board for the duration. Of course, there were times when the disciples wondered what they had gotten themselves into with Jesus. Today’s story was one of those occasions. Jesus concluded a long day of teaching by getting into a boat with His disciples—a sure sign in the Gospel of Mark that something interesting was about to happen (see 6:45, 8:13). As the Lord slept, black clouds filled the sky and giant waves began crashing over the boat and filled it with water. The terrified disciples woke Jesus, accusing Him of not caring that they might soon drown (v. 38).

Jesus got up and dealt with the tempest. No problem there. All it took was His authoritative Word, and a great miracle happened. Immediately the wind and waves died down. Even though Jesus was present with the disciples, they feared that the storm would kill them. Once that threat was past, they felt a different kind of fear. They stood in terrified awe of Him who had calmed the storm.

Today in the Word, May 24, 1993