When you are in the Midst of Storm: Reflection on Mark 4:35-41
Breakfast with the Word Saturday third week of Ordinary Time of the Year
In the gospel of Mark 4:35-41, as Jesus and His apostles are in a boat, a violent storm came up against them breaking over the boat, to the extent the boat was even filling up with water. While this is happening, Jesus is deeply sleeping.
The apostles, filled with fear, began to shout. Jesus woke up and calmed the sea. Jesus asked them; do you not have faith? But the apostles were filled with awe as they kept wondering how the storm could hear His voice and keep quiet.
The Power of Storm.
A storm is a natural disaster that is always destructive. It always comes with a violent disturbance of the atmosphere, accompanied by rain, thunder, lightning and strong wind. Sometimes, it moves angrily and forcefully and destroys everything at sight.
This tells us what the apostles could be experiencing at this point in the gospel Mark 4:35-41. They acted out of human nature because they know how powerful and destructive a storm could be. But one thing they forgot is that the Messiah is with them. They chose fear instead of faith in the midst of the storm. The apostles chose to shout. They chose to exercise their fear instead of confessing their faith.
Our Daily Storms.
Like the apostles today in Mark 4:35-41, we also have our daily storms in life. Sometimes they can be highly destructive and make us think the world has ended. There are many today who are passing through great difficulties. These experiences sometimes make us begin to fear what may happen in the future.
- Secondly, while the storm was going on today, the apostles began to shout “Lord do you not care that we are perishing”.
There are many today who think God does not care about their plight again. Sometimes this makes them weak at prayers. What we say and what we confess whenever we are faced with the storms of life, matter a lot.
The apostles thought they would perish. Had it been they know the power of Jesus, they would have understood that the storm cannot swallow Jesus too.
Therefore, whenever you are facing difficulties never conclude yet that you are going to perish. Do not put a stamp yet on that turbulent situation. Anything may still happen at any moment, and even we do not expect.
Once they are sure of His presence, fear would not have been given a single place. Their wonder at the end of the miracle speaks volume of how little they have believed in what He can do. This is also what happens to us. When we are faced with certain storms of life. We do forget that God’s power is beyond the situation at hand.
The apostles shouted ‘oh even the storm could obey Him?’ That means they would not have known that the storm could obey Jesus.
Also, are we still also wondering if the situation at hand is beyond God’s power? If our God is Almighty, then He is mightier than the human condition.
Storms would Always Come.
In today’s gospel, the apostles are with their Master but despite that, they encountered the storm. We have to know that whether we like it or not, problems, challenges and difficulties will always come. Sometimes they can be highly challenging to the extent you begin to question your faith.
That you are a Christian, or that we pray every day is not a reason that we are now immune from problems. Anybody who promises you a life free from challenges is not a true prophet. But with Jesus, we can go through them. We need to stay close to Jesus always when it goes well and when it does not go well.
With God’s presence, every storm is powerless, and grace becomes abundant. So do not cry yet when you face a problem, rather go to Him. Never lose faith when it becomes hot. Such experiences are always normal. Do not begin to look for a person behind your ordeals. Rather, this is the time to remain extremely strong in faith.
This is What We should choose.
How many times have we because of the challenges at hand talk down on what God can do for us? Do you think, with me, that sometimes we fear our problems more than we assure ourselves of God’s divine presence in the midst of our problems?
Today many people are fearing to do something because they do not know what it may bring. Sometimes we fear the future even.
Jesus wants us to be assured of His Divine Presence always. Nothing is beyond His power. When Jesus asks the apostles “do you not yet have faith? Jesus is invariably telling them that when we face any type of storm, we have to stand and confess our faith rather than worry or remain in fear.
How Big and Impossible It may seem.
What happened to the apostles today in Mark 4:35-41 is not a small experience. We may easily criticise them, but it was not a simple experience.
First, the storm today is highly destructive. Only the sight of it is extremely fearful. Second, even the waters of the sea began to enter the boat. They may be swallowed up by the water.
Third, they are in a boat, anything can happen, and they will perish inside the sea. So all these necessitated extreme fear.
Despite these, Jesus is telling us that despite however mighty the storm may be, they are not mightier than He is. We have to focus on how powerful our God is is rather than how powerful the storm is.
This is not to motivate or inspire you. This is a reality. In the face of problems, choose to stand in faith than to be in fear.
The first reading tells us that faith is the certainty of what we hoped for and evidence of what we have not yet seen. So faith is a strong belief that despite whatever that comes against me, my redeemer will never let me down.
This is why we need a strong relationship with the Lord. Fear in the midst of these circumstances is a sign we do not trust the One who He is our true Shepherd.
Let us live in total faith in God’s protection, presence and power in the midst of our situations than live in fear over the unknown.
May God bless you dearest and may He also calm our fears and storms in life. Amen