Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” Mark 4:36-38 NKJV
In reading Mark 4:36-38 I often forget that at least 4 of the disciples were fishermen. They had made their livings on the Sea of Galilee. I dare to infer that because of their professions they had experience and knowledge of storms at sea. Unlike someone who was unfamiliar with boating, they would have been less likely to overreact or misinterpret the severity of a storm. Yet they assessed that they were not just on the brink of death, but in the process of dying. They said, “…we are perishing.”
I ponder scenarios in which I would cry to God, “I am perishing”. I have been in the depths of depression and pain to wish I would die but have never come to a time in which I believed death by some external force was at hand. I attempt to imagine the depths of fear or anguish that would be consuming me at the moment of that declaration. That was the state of the disciples; some of whom had the foreknowledge to distinguish real threats at sea. And Christ slept. As I read further, in Mark 4:41 it says after Christ calmed the storm, “they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!” A glimpse of Christ’s sovereignty was on display not only in the moment spoke and creation obeyed, but as He slept as well. I overlook it because I have heard the story so many times. I take the Sunday school teaching that God is with us in the storms of our life but have failed to mature beyond that.
God is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, and sovereign. Anything less isn’t God as revealed through scripture. He is present with us, and all the while unmoved in every situation. He either directly commands them to be or withholds His hands and allows them. If He wants to stay any happening He can do so. He will permit, what He permits and He will stop what He desires to stop. I have an incomplete awareness of the sovereignty and magnitude of God. Honestly, I strongly suspect I would be paralyzed by it. The disciples though already seeing many supernatural occurrences were struck with fear from a veiled revelation of Christ’s all-encompassing power that reigned above creation itself.
As I continue to meditate on the passages of Mark 4:35-41 I pray that God would hinder my heart and mind from becoming too familiar with Him. I pray that the grace which was given to me that I might know Him keeps me in fear and reverence with the sole purpose of bringing Him glory. I want the weight of His sovereignty to daily draw me to my knees, to spur obedient pursuits, to dispel sinful desires, and to consume me in humility. How great is our God that He commands the things that terrify our souls, that threaten to tear us apart, and claim to have ultimate control on our lives? How great is God?