St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church

Calm In Calamity

Podcast Version

July 8, 2020—Calm In Calamity
Mark 4:36-41—Leaving the crowd behind, [the disciples] took [Jesus] along, just as he was, in the boat…A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

Boating season is in full swing. We look into the bay and we can see the little dinghies people use to go from shore to their large boats (or my fishing boat which some might confuse with a dinghy). Not long ago, we saw the massive and mighty 1,000 footers leave Sturgeon Bay for another season on the Great Lakes. Now, were you caught in a storm on the Great Lakes, which would you prefer—the dinghy, or the 1,000 footer? Of course the 1,000 footer! Though I’d just as soon be on dry land in a terrible storm, and I’m sure you would too.

That’s our natural mind set. We don’t like bad things or dangerous situations. No one needlessly goes heading into a storm—dinghy or 1,000 footer. Yet today, we find Jesus purposefully sending himself and his disciples into a storm on the Sea of Galilee. When the storm came, look at the accusation the disciples levy at Jesus:
Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?

Not one of us can point at the disciples and say, “What fools! How can you be so silly and have so little trust in Jesus and his promises?” You never know you have a problem with your faith or see how weak it really is until the waves come. It’s easy to trust in Jesus when things are good. It’s when the storm clouds gather and the wind and rain beat against you that you get to see the real you.

Look at all the storms in your life where you have behaved just like the disciples. After doing all that is in you to fight back against the storm raging in your life, you at
last turn to God. But just like the disciples, he’s your last resort. And your plea, instead of asking for help, accuses him: “Don’t………you………care?”

Why is that? It’s cowardice, plain and simple. Jesus says it is. After Jesus turned the great storm into a great calm with just his words, he asks,
Why are you so afraid? Literally, Why are you so cowardly? The disciples problem wasn’t so much the calamity around them, but the calamity in their hearts. We see this in Jesus’ second question: Do you still have no faith?

Jesus calmly rescued his disciples, not because they were so afraid, but because that was his plan all along. That’s his plan for you too! Jesus can be so calm because he is your Savior who has an undying love for you. He proved it by enduring the greatest storm there ever was, and he endured it alone—the spiritual storm of eternal torment on the cross. And he endured that storm all so you would be free from that storm.

Because of this, Jesus’ calm in calamity
is yours through faith in him! As you look at the state of things in our world, and as you face your own personal storms, cling to Jesus. Look at how calm he is. He’s calm because he’s done everything to rescue you already, and he knows the outcome—eternity with you in heaven! Remember that Jesus is in the boat with you. And even if he seems to be sleeping, all that matters is that he’s in the boat with you. And if he’s sleeping, it proves to you you have nothing to worry about.