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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Riding out a Storm

"Peace is not the absence of storm
but the presence of calm within a storm."
~ Unknown

"Master, Master, we are perishing!" (Luke 8:24)
"Lord, save us! We are perishing!" (Matthew 8:25)
"Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?" (Mark 4:38)

One of my favorite ways to study Scripture is to look at the same scene through the eyes of different Bible passages. As I well learned from police work, more witnesses, with contrasting details, provides a more complete picture.

You gotta love Mark, whose descriptions often include extra details and rougher edges. In recording Jesus' calming of the storm, Mark starts with Jesus sleeping "in the stern, on a pillow." The very human Master didn't simply doze off, but planned to get His rest. Matthew and Luke show the disciples awakening Jesus to call for His help. Mark depicts utter desperation.

"Do You not care that we are perishing?"

These aren't the words a person uses with an initial plea. Do you get the impression that Jesus hadn't responded immediately? Were some of them simply looking for two more hands to bail out water? How many understood, as Matthew implies, that Jesus had power to save, even if they weren't anticipating the magnitude of His power?

And other little boats were also with Him.
~ Mark 4:36 (NKJV)

This other detail from Mark makes me wonder—couldn't the disciples who actually had Jesus in their boat sense their advantage by comparison? The storm might take out those guys, but we have the Holy One of God with us, who has raised the dead. At least we'll survive.

Do You not care that I am perishing?

Have you ever reached the place of utter desperation which prays like this? Do you know what it is to exhaust your own efforts and the capability of others, and turned to God knowing that He is all you need anyway?

Do you remember that some people nearby don't have Jesus and sense your advantage?

"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
~ Matthew 11:28-30 (NKJV)

Being yoked together with Jesus means you are bound to Him. Whether He chooses to calm the storm or He rides it out with you, you will not perish.

He has told us that in being attached to Him, we will find rest for our souls. Will He not be true to His word?

Lord Jesus, when we face the kind of tests that cause us to believe we cannot endure even one more day, please increase our faith to believe that You do indeed care, and You offer us rest in You.

Your comments, questions, and respectful disagreement are most appreciated. Reply to comments, or e-mail buildingHisbody [plus]
Copyright 2010, 2011, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.


  1. I have never thought that He did not care, but I have often had thoughts of "Hey, what's going on here?" I guess sometimes I don't get the memo.

  2. Mary ~

    I'm with you—I've never, ever doubted that He cares. But like parents who may mutter under their breath, "I'm gonna kill that kid," I think I've encountered a couple of moments when I've prayed in hyperbole.

    As for that memo, I think it appears in Job 38, when the Lord asks Job who he is to ask questions. "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? ... " :P

    Love you! Give Mom a hug from me! ♥

  3. A powerful word for sure, Anne. Thank you. I have cried out like this at times and it's always bigger than just our needs. Great post.

  4. Jason ~

    I'm slow with replies this weekend. But I AM glad to hear from someone else who has come to the point of crying out "don't You care" in moments of desperation. You're good company for me to be in.


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