The gospel of Mark records for us a storm that descends upon Christ and His disciples in chapter 4, verse 37. The following is that account:
“And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.”
There are a few brief points we have presented for us in this one passage of scripture. Notice the following:
1) It was a great storm of wind
2) The waves “beat” into the ship
3) The ship is now full
When studying the geographical location of the sea of Galilee, we notice how it is situated between two hills, placing it in a valley, the Jordan Rift Valley to be exact. One commentator describes the geography in the following manner:
“…skirted on the east by lofty mountain ranges, while on the west the hills are intersected by narrow gorges through which the wind sweeps across the lake, and raises its waters with great rapidity into a storm.”
It has been said that with the way the Sea of Galilee is situated, a storm could pop up without much notice, if any at all. Here we are reminded then of how Paul writes of when a man is “overtaken in a fault,” in Galatians 6. We site this passage, due to the parallel of those literal storms and how they represent storms of a spiritual and emotional nature. Sometimes things come upon us without notice, such as a death or an attack of the enemy.
We made note of 3 things that are presented in this passage, but more importantly, we want to bring to your attention the, “Side Affects of the Storm.”
As we can see, the storm had an affect upon the ship, with the waves beating against it and attempting to fill the vessel with water. In the next verse, we see the disciples, not fearless, but fearful. They question the Lord’s care for them and in this is what we want to glean from. What did they mean when they questioned His care? What was going through their minds? How did they feel? It is a wonderful picture of how we have written in 2 brief verses, a storm, its affects and almost immediately the Lord delivering them from the storm. But this isn’t necessarily the case for so many today, now is it? For some, it would take much more than a verse to sum up the Side Affects of the storm.
Let me see if I can put some things in perspective for us. On August 29, 2005, one of the most powerful hurricanes in history brought destruction upon the southern part of the U.S. I am referring to, none other than, Katrina. What we know as hurricane Katrina actually lasted half a day, however the aftermath is a much terrifying story. Nearly 2,000 people were killed, with 900 declared missing and 90,000 square miles of land affected. Millions were left homeless along the Gulf Coast and New Orleans, due to the massive flooding. Katrina caused approximately $108 billion in damages. In its wake, Katrina was not only a weather storm, but also became a political storm for politicians and the president. Having almost 2,000 people killed, families were and are still affected by their loss, not to mention those that were missing. Having lasted a half a day, there would be lives affected for years to come.
When we experience storms in our life, the storm itself may be brief in nature, but the side affects may last for years. Sometimes the most difficult thing to do is simply get back up and pick up where we left off. In the process of doing so, those affected by Katrina did not get a break from other weather issues. There was no pause in society that enabled them to put their lives back together. Enduring the storm really isn’t the hardest part, its moving on after you’ve experienced loss. We may even do like those disciples did and question the care of the Lord. We feel beaten down by the winds, He actually controls. Our life becomes full of multiple things, like bitterness, resentment, feelings of hate, feelings of regret and etc. We struggle with all of this, not during the storm, but after…sometimes for years. While we reel from the big storm, other smaller ones come and go.
Watching from the safety of Glasgow, KY, I have made the comment, “Why don’t they just move?” or “It’s not like they didn’t see it coming.” When you’re not affected by the main part of the storm, but simply a gust of wind or a stray shower, you really have no clue as to what is really happening in that life, marriage or family. It’s easy to make those comments while you’re in safety.
In conclusion, I want us to be simply reminded that we just do not really know the circumstances someone else is enduring, nor can we comprehend what has taken place in their life. We must simply be gracious unto them and be a help, not a hindrance. This is not to say we condone any actions, but we are also not authorized to judge those actions either, especially being ignorant of the possible history involved.
In His service,
2 Cor. 12:9