ODJ: Greater

May 22, 2016 

READ: Mark 4:35-41  

Soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water (v.37).

Howling winds, booming thunderclaps and lightning flashes tend to make me nervous, even when I’m sheltered in a safe, dry place. Gentle rain showers I can handle. It’s the clamour and din of an intense storm that get me. So Jesus could well have been speaking to me when He asked His disciples, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” (Mark 4:40).

Caught in the midst of a raging storm, the disciples must have stared incredulously at their slumbering rabbi. Waking Him, they asked reproachfully, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?” (v.38). When Jesus rebuked the storm and all became calm, the terrified men couldn’t believe their eyes. “ ‘Who is this man?’ they asked each other. ‘Even the wind and waves obey him!’ ” (v.41).

By that time the disciples had seen Jesus do and say enough to have an inkling of His identity. Yet the pounding waves made them lose perspective to the point of wondering who their Teacher really could be. I can imagine how they felt. When facing a storm in life, I often forget that I’m safe in Him and instead allow circumstances to make me anxious.

The noise and turmoil of life have a way of obscuring our vision from the truth of God’s Word and who He is. Isaiah 30:15 says, “Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength.” When we turn off our distractions and rest quietly in God’s presence, His peace permeates our hearts and strengthens our confidence.

Rather than using our minds to conjure up images of calamity and chaos, we will see—as the disciples did—that He who is with us is greater than the storms we face, no matter how large and loud they are.

—Remi Oyedele

365-day plan: Isaiah 6:1-13

Read Psalm 107:23-30 for the Bible’s view of who is ultimately in control of all things. 
What’s frightened you the most about a storm (physical or emotional) you’ve experienced? How does the knowledge that God is greater than our storms impact the way you feel?