Everyone knows someone who seems constantly plagued by personal drama. Chaos seems to follow these individuals wherever they go. By all accounts, these people do not appear to enjoy being miserable; yet their lives are marked by repeated upheavals, both physical and emotional. Tragic circumstances erupt out of nowhere. Illness and broken relationships lay like a wasteland all around them.
When we come to Christ, we bring our drama with us. He looks upon our storms and fears and says, “Peace, be still!” (New King James Version, Mark 4:39). We breathe a sigh of relief as we realize that our burdens, sorrows, and endless dramas are now over.
Following Christ doesn’t necessarily mean that all our calamities have come to an end, at last. In most cases, the worst is yet to come. Jesus had been teaching all day, telling parable after parable to a great crowd of people next to the sea. The Word tells us that the crowd grew so large that the Lord had to get in a boat and teach the people from there. Maybe He was forced out there, or maybe He knew his voice would carry better over the water. Either way, there He was (Mark 4:1, 2).
That evening (Mark 4:35), still in the boat, Jesus tells His boys to take them all over to the other side. After a long day with the local “gimme” tribe, the Son of Man was wiped, so He crawls up into the stern to take a little snooze. He’s with fishermen; they know what to do with a boat on the sea. Hello, forty-winks! That’s when all hell breaks loose.
The winds rise up, and waves beat the sides of the boat so hard that it begins to fill with water. Wait. We’re hanging with Jesus, right? He’s the latest, greatest thing out of Galilee, right? He healed a paralytic, just like that. He regrew a withered hand on a guy, just like that. He hands it back to the Pharisees. People are following us around, giving us stuff. We. are. so. cool. So, hang on, what’s up with this?
Back to the chaotic people in your life, are any of them professing Christians? Do you think they are any less Christian because of their struggles? Are you one of these people? Is God punishing you for something? We always want to come down on the disciples in this story, because Jesus, Himself, declares their lack of faith (Mark 4:40). But I don’t think He dogs them because they wake Him up. He admonishes them because they are fearful.
When things get out of control, I don’t know about the rest of you, but going to God should be my first, last, and intermediary plan. But more often than not, I get fearful, and when I get fearful, I get stupid. Everybody has their own weird response to fear. Mine is “take charge.” EAHHHH!!! Wrong answer. Life can be pretty darn scary, but we’re supposed to be past that kind of stuff. We’ve seen Christ do His thing in our lives and in the lives of others. Our eyes are opened to the truth of His Word. Sure, scary life things are going to happen, but our response should never be to panic. That’s when stupid things happen. The disciples could have started bailing. They could have started throwing things overboard. Somebody could have slipped, drowned, who knows how many dead people Jesus would have had to bring back, if He was willing, or if God ordained it. They didn’t let it get that far, as far as we can tell from Scripture. But they could have. They came that close, because they let fear grip them in the presence of the Savior.
When adversity and calamity are all around the Believer, such occasions are not a call to arms, but a call to surrender–a call to wait, to listen, to watch and see the salvation of the Lord.
Be still and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth! (Psalm 46:10)
When the crazy breaks out, sit down, shut up, and let Jesus do His thing.
My first response is damage control: assess the situation, calm the victims, start handing out survival supplies, form a strategy. His first response is to be God. When I let God be God, then I don’t have to be God. When I try to be God, people get hurt, more drama ensues. When I take my fear to Him, He gets us all to the other side of it.
Accepting Christ doesn’t mean the end of drama. My brokenness can always conjure up a new storm, but Jesus is with me. God is with me, right here, in my boat.