The Sea of Galilee was proverbially a stormy lake. The wind coming down from the mountains would suddenly and unexpectedly raise a storm, often dangerous to the fisherman on the lake.
It was so in this case. The disciples pushed off from the shore in fine weather, having for Companion, their Lord and Master, the Son of God. Then we read, "There arose a great storm of wind." The waves rose at the bidding of the wind, the water of the lake leaped into the tiny craft till it was waterlogged.
Is it not the experience of many, perhaps of all, that in some time of our lives, perhaps more times than we like to think, a great storm arises? Troubles come. It may be ill-health, and no prospect of betterment. It may be financial difficulties, and how many have experienced this during these years of unstable economy. It may be shame comes into our families. A thousand and one distressing things may come into our lives and homes. It may be the weakness of old age, the ever-shortening tether that has only one ending, unless the Rapture takes place.
The storm arose on the Sea of Galilee. But the Master was on board. How could the frail boat sink if the Lord of life was there? At any rate He was at hand, and that was the great point. Asleep on a pillow in the hinder part of the ship, His very attitude of repose, though the wind howled round and the waves filled the boat, was enough to rebuke the fears of His disciples.
Are we any better than the fishermen of the Sea of Galilee? Do we instinctively turn to the Lord in our troubles? How often we try to put things right in our own strength and fancied wisdom, and only turn to the Lord when we are at our wit’s end. Can we not trust the Lord? I have known saints of God, who have had wonderful opportunities of getting on in the things of God, saints who have sat under the choicest ministry for years. And yet when the storm arose I have heard them say with anguished lips, "Has the Lord forsaken me?" We may not blame them, for we know how frail we are ourselves, but we may well seek to strengthen each other’s faith.
The frightened disciples awoke the Master with the cry of reproach, "Master, carest Thou not that we perish?" Then, HE AROSE! What a moment! We can almost see His loved form, stretched to its height; we can almost hear His voice, rebuking the wind and saying to the sea, "Peace be still."
He arose! Like wild hounds called to heel by their owner, so the wild waves sank to rest at His command, the wind ceased at His rebuke, "and there was a great calm." "There arose a great storm … there was a great calm." What a contrast! What a lesson!
When the Lord steps in in connection with our tribulations, difficulties, and sorrows He can turn the storm, great as it may be, into a great calm. We may not find our outward circumstances much altered. For instance, old age cannot be avoided. But God can and will make a way of escape, that we may be able to bear the trial. A way of escape, not out of the trial, but in the trial, so that in our spirits we may be able to rise above it, and glorify God in it.
When the disciples saw the mighty power of the Lord, they feared exceedingly, and said one to another. "What manner of Man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?" Aye, more than a man! What man could command the wind and the sea? How powerless is man in the presence of the elements, let loose in all their fury. The tornado moves on in irresistible force. Nothing can withstand it. The sea rages. No human power can curb its frightful power. How puny man is made to feel in the presence of these elemental forces! No, the disciples found themselves in the presence of the Eternal Son of God, "God manifest in the flesh."
And yet they were not afraid of the sleeping form when they awoke Him with their cries for help. Might they not come to the conclusion that our Lord tabernacling in flesh was in order that Divine power might be at the disposal of man for his blessing? And so we can turn to One who is God and Man-God in divine power and might, Man in human sympathy and kindness; nay, disclosing the very kindness of God, divine sympathy and kindness.
May we not trust Him? "THERE AROSE A GREAT STORM … HE AROSE AND … THERE WAS A GREAT CALM."