[Jesus] said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” Mark 4:40
In a TV commercial I saw recently, a woman casually asks someone in a group watching TV, “What are you searching for, Mark?” “A version of myself that doesn’t make decisions based on fear,” he responds soberly—not realizing that she was just asking what he liked to watch on TV!
Whoa, I thought. I wasn’t expecting a TV commercial to hit me so profoundly! But I related to poor Mark: I too feel embarrassed by the way fear sometimes seems to direct my life.
Jesus’ disciples also experienced the profound power of fear. Once, as they headed across the Sea of Galilee (Mark 4:35), “a furious squall came up” (v. 37). Terror gripped them, and they suggested that Jesus (who’d been sleeping!) might not care about them: “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” (v. 38).
Fear distorted the disciples’ vision, blinding them to Jesus’ good intentions for them. After He rebuked the wind and waves (v. 39), Christ confronted the disciples with two penetrating questions: “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” (v. 40).
Storms rage in our lives as well, don’t they? But Jesus’ questions can help us put our fears in perspective. His first question invites us to name our fears. The second invites us to entrust those distorted feelings to Him—asking Him for eyes to see how He guides us even through life’s most raging storms.
What storms are you facing right now? How can you entrust your fears and emotions to Jesus when the winds blow and the waters rise?
Loving Savior, thank You that You’re always present in the storm. As I move through life’s scary moments, help me each day to talk to You and entrust You with my fears.
The Gospels tell us of two separate times when Jesus calmed a storm. Here in Mark 4, Jesus is already with the disciples, but He’s asleep in the boat. Although they’d seen Him perform great miracles, the disciples didn’t yet understand the full impact of those miracles, which clearly demonstrated Jesus’ power over every situation.
The second time Jesus stilled the sea (Mark 6:47–52), He wasn’t with the disciples. He was “walking on the lake” during a storm. In both cases, the disciples were in great fear—the first time because of the dangerous storm, the second because they thought Jesus was a ghost. These dramatic stories both show how God was building the faith of His disciples. He permitted them to sail into the middle of a fearful situation in order to stretch their faith.