After watching the vessels for several hours the sun headed back down toward the horizon and the moon peaked its head. The current and waves naturally increased as the wind accompanied their aggression.
In the distance, I witnessed the same elderly couple for before, sailing -- not toward shore but away from me into the deeper, bigger waves. I thought to myself "don't they know that the night brings even bigger more dangerous waves?"
In that moment, I thought about the type of vessel they had chosen to voyage on -- the sailboat. Guided by a CONJOINED effort of their knowledge of the sea and the trust they put in the wind driven sails, they seemed calm - although everyone had been clearing off the beach and heading back to the ship.
Continuing to watch them as I walked along the dock I head back to my cabin, as they shrank further in the distance, I asked God for their trust and tenacity. The wisdom and ability to weather what SEEMED to be a rough waters when everyone else is headed in the opposite direction.
I think a lot about that moment, and about how over 2000 years ago, even early followers of Christ were unaffirmed in their journey -- in awe of those who choose to set sail deeper into the waves with no oar, or engine.
[READ: Mark 4:37]
If you're feeling like you're headed into a tough storm, you are encouraged to read the book of Mark. It is here we find an account of what faith in the midst of a storm looks like. We learn that Jesus needed to be in the midst of the storm to show that only a true believer can calm it.
We pick up this story after Jesus heals many crowd and people who were affected by illness and possession. He wanted a short period of rest from the crowds so he decided to take a boat with the apostles to the opposite shore where there were no large towns. The Bible reports not long after they sailed, Jesus fell asleep and a storm arose (Luke 8:23).
Often as soon as you embark on a new season in life, there will be a storm serving as a right of passage into the next phase. We most likely burn ourselves out and are exhausted from the work we done thus far. It is in this moment of weakness that God sends yet ANOTHER storm, not the taunt your in ability, but reveal His might.
Here are two important points that reveal the true humanity of Christ; He needed rest and time away from crowds, and He was so exhausted that even the rocking of the boat did not awaken Him. This helps us realize that Jesus was genuinely human with the same basic needs we all have, a need for rest and renewal.
In hindsight I've realized that I was on the brink of burnout, that I had been working so hard that I hadn't had time to think. I blazed past God in ever decision and was exhausted, I planned the trip for physical relaxation and ended up starting to relax my spirit.
“The waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But [Jesus] was in the stern, asleep on the cushion” (Mark 4:37–38). It’s significant that Jesus’ sleep was deep and sound, even through the storm, which was “already filling” the boat. The Bible says the sleep of a believer will be sweet and peaceful because he knows the Lord is with him (Proverbs 3:24; Psalm 4:8). This is why Jesus, when He was awakened, rebuked the disciples with the question “Have you still no faith?” (Mark 4:40).
The apostles’ lack of faith reminds us that even those who lived and walked with Jesus, saw His miracles, and heard His message still found it difficult to be 100 percent faith-filled all the time. In that way, the disciples were a lot like us. I knew who God was and I knew what I was supposed to do for Him, I didn’t 100% believe His word, so He sent me a storm to show that He would get me back to shore.
If Jesus was able to rescue the apostles from the storm, He is also able to rescue us from the storms of everyday life: sickness, job loss, relationship problems, and even the sting of death (1 Corinthians 15:55).
When Jesus “gave orders to go over to the other side” (Matthew 8:18), He knew the storm was coming. He is omniscient (John 2:25); even with a storm brewing, He decided to launch out to sea. God does promise that there will not be grappling winds or thrashing waves when we follow Him, He promises that the will be there to keep you calm during the storm!
This passage not only reveals Jesus' true humanity, but also reveals His divine power because only God can make the “winds and water obey” (Luke 8:25). With one quick word from Christ, the storm stopped and the sea became calm (Mark 4:39).
I asked God in that moment to charter me head first into the storm. No matter how long it took or rought it was, I'd rather sail toward it with God that run from it without Him.