Jesus used parables to teach the word. When He was alone with His own disciples, He explained everything. Mark and Matthew differ in their reports of stilling the storm. Mark said Jesus left a crowd behind as they took Him along in the boat. Matthew said that Jesus got him into the boat and His disciples followed Him. Mark also said there were other boats with Jesus. The disciples described a sudden furious storm that was calmed by Jesus. Do we, with all of our modern technology, face uncontrollable storms? What is the source of our help? With more than two thousand years between us and Jesus, we may not realize the limitations of our own strength and knowledge. God, through Jesus, calms all storms according to His will. We are facing or have faced job loss, housing, family-life issues, discriminations of all types, faith-based challenges and health problems without solutions. Only God through Jesus can create the miracles we need. We cannot rely on our strength.
Jesus can calm any storm with His love and patience. In a storm we may work by faith when problems confront us (sometimes daily) as we struggle to live by God’s commands. We must continue to pray that God through Jesus Christ, will grant us great understanding to believe His word with strength and wisdom to move accordingly. May we also encourage others to serve and witness concerning the gospel of Jesus Christ. How can we reach out to a variety of problems without being affected? We continue our faith based activities because He is greater than all worldly events. He is our strength.
The endless storms make us witnesses concerning the power of God. Our problems can be like the furious waves that spread over the boat that carried Jesus! We must not forget the source of our help nor the risks involved to witness as we render service for God through His Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Jesus suggested that He and the disciples go to the other side of the lake. Jesus somehow fell asleep despite knowing the danger that surrounded the area! No fear was shown by Jesus, but the disciples were stressed and fearful. Jesus knew the unfailing power of God during that raging storm. As they sailed, He fell asleep easily before being awakened with shouts all around Him saying. “Master, Master, we are going to drown!” With His command of authority, everything subsided immediately. He asked His disciples, “Where is your faith?” All storms can be devastating without faith in the enduring love of Jesus Christ. We need much fellowship with peaceful feelings to know that the love of Jesus endures during our storms of life. Changes can occur as we choose to surrender to Him anything that the Holy Spirit points out as not being in harmony with His will. Unless the right choices are made by us, then sometimes painful results may occur. His word convinces us of the right choices and with His empowerment; we can keep Jesus in our boat as we moment-by-moment see spiritual changes in ourselves and others. With God’s grace, we can overcome our problems no matter how difficult the struggles!
It is easy to feel fearful and discouraged over our spiritual growth. When feeling like we are not independent boat-riders, think of promises Jesus has made to convince us not to give up. Trusting in our own strength can cause us to drift from the Lord. We can sometimes become overwhelmed with earthly cares and a spiritual awakening can transform us totally. Growth and change are part of our Christian experiences as we keep Jesus in our rough-riding boat. According to Mark, we too might have to leave the crowd behind just as Jesus did in the parable of the storm. Matthew and Luke do not mention other boats. We can presently continue to pray with confidence in anxious times. When troubles come, we can cry out to God through Jesus Christ immediately. God wants us to depend on Him which can be accomplished through prayer. It is this enduring love when storms of life occur that Jesus is present when we pray with faith for others and for ourselves according to His will. Because Jesus taught in parables and as we continue to witness miracles and victorious outcomes no matter how dire the circumstances appear, we know that winds and waves still obey His voice. As Christian believers, we know Jesus’ enduring love is needed and we also know that life cannot exist without it! What can we learn from Jesus’ words to His disciples? As we sum up many of our stormy experiences, we need and ought to have strong faith at all times in His goodness and power. Think of the miracles that can occur when our Lord speaks to any circumstance and say “PEACE BE STILL!”
Mrs. Gladys R. McElmore, a resident of Norfolk’s Middle Town Arch Community, is a New Journal and Guide Freelance Contributor on religion. She is a native of Essex County, Va.