In between memories of yesterday’s glory and promises of tomorrow’s dreams are storms. In yesterday’s memories, friends are gathering, rejoicing in the miracle of multiplied blessings. In tomorrow’s dreams the unknowns loom: the job you’ve always wanted; the child you’ve dreamed for, the approaching empty nest or retirement years. Between yesterday’s miracles and tomorrow’s dreams lie the unpredictable sea and the inevitable storm.

God’s Word calls us to see the storm. In fact, he is the Lord of the storm. We read in Mark 6:45-56:

Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. And after he had taken leave of them, he went up on the mountain to pray. And when evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and he was alone on the land. And he saw that they were making headway painfully, for the wind was against them. And about the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. He meant to pass by them, but when they saw him walking on the sea they thought it was a ghost, and cried out, for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” And he got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded, for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened.

When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored to the shore. And when they got out of the boat, the people immediately recognized him and ran about the whole region and began to bring the sick people on their beds to wherever they heard he was. And wherever he came, in villages, cities, or countryside, they laid the sick in the marketplaces and implored him that they might touch even the fringe of his garment. And as many as touched it were made well.

The “storms of life” refer to that place in between the miracles of yesterday and the promises of tomorrow—-those seasons of trial and even doubt that come to all of us at some points in our lives.

Four Truths

Four truths are revealed in this passage about the Lord of the storm that will lead us to trust him in our storms.

Look at the opening verse: “Immediately he made his disciples get in the boat.” Notice here that Jesus “made” his disciples get in the boat. Here is an unequivocal command to “get in!” Is this what the disciples expected?

Here is the first surprising truth about this passage:

1. The Lord of the storm sends us into the storm to get to the other side (verse 45).

The people, including the disciples, were in danger of domesticating Jesus—-turning him into a local god who would give them what they wanted, rather than recognizing him as the Savior they needed. But this Messiah was sending them to a new place of understanding. And that meant, “Get in the boat. You are going out to sea—-alone.”

Just when things seem to be going well, that’s when our Lord sends us to the other side! And to follow Jesus is to cross the sea of life in obedience.

Our second truth to consider from this text is that Jesus, the Lord of the storm, does more than send his people into the storms.

2. The Lord of the storm is above the storm and sees us as he is praying (verses 46-48).

There is healing and and blessed assurance in this powerful biblical picture in these verses; four words describe what we find here related to Jesus being above the storm:

Submission. Jesus at prayer shows his heart resting in the Father’s will and guarantees his road to Calvary.

Intercession. Jesus’ prayer, while the disciples are at sea, shows how our Savior is our High Priest who ever makes intercession for us while we are in the storms of life.

One of the greatest comforts in your life, believer, is that while you are in the storm, Jesus is on the throne.

Care. Jesus’ watchfulness over us, even as we are in the storm, shows his constant care for us.

This is the Savior who says, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Mystery. Jesus’ timing for our salvation is mysterious but effective.

Jesus notices the disciples in the late evening but doesn’t act until after prayer in the fourth watch. That is 3 a.m.! Why did he allow them to row against the wind for so long? Why did he allow them to go off course in the storm? The story is shrouded in mystery that defies explanation. Though he comes to you in his own time, according to the secret purposes of his own heart, he is there, ascended to the Promised Land, praying for you.

This truth is before us as well:

3. The Lord of the storm walks on the storm, passing by us, coming to us, commanding our safe passage through it (verses 48-50).

The last part of verse 48 says, “He meant to pass them by.” This was relayed by Peter and written by Mark. For Peter, Jesus was there, the image of God passing by them, showing his love and showing his concern. But they didn’t understand the image. They screamed, thinking he was some sort of water spirit. But he said to them, “It is I,” or “I am he.”

Is this not the same God who passed by Moses and hid him in the cleft of the rock? He has called himself, “I AM.”

Are you in a storm? The good news is: he is passing by. He is there. He will not leave you alone.

Now this leads us to see the fourth truth:

4. The Lord of the storm is the Lord of salvation and is in the boat—-calming the storm, bringing peace in the midst of it, guiding us to the other side (verse 51).

You want Jesus in your boat. You know you need him in your storms. But do you really know who he is? Do you really know that Jesus is the Savior of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the Savior of Paul? Do you really know that you are dealing with the living God here?

Let the doubt turn to astonishment, and, if God is pleased, let that turn to faith-filled wonder. Now we go through storms of many kinds, but he is there. We are headed to the place, the good land, where he wants us to go.

Will you stop rowing your own boat and let the Master take control? There will not be peace until you do.

From this passage, we have seen that Jesus did not rescue the disciples out of the sea but calmed it. In like manner, he may not remove you from your sea, but he comes to you to love you, to encourage you, to make the journey with you.

When the wind and waves of life

Drove my soul to find relief,

I was guided by the storm

To find Jesus underneath.

When the storms of life betray

All the promises You’ve made,

I will cling to Calvary’s place;

I will trust Your sovereign grace.

Though Your presence with me goes,

I seem to still be tossed and turned

By an unseen enemy

And I know I need to learn.

When the storms of life betray

All the promises You’ve made,

I will cling to Calvary’s place;

I will trust Your sovereign grace.

And when life is finally o’er

And I stand before You, Lord,

I’ll see the storms that stirred despair

Were the winds that blew me there.

When the storms of life betray

All the promises You’ve made,

Let me cling to Calvary’s place;

Let me trust Your Sovereign Grace.

Michael Anthony Milton, “Your Sovereign Grace,” He Shall Restore (Chattanooga: Music for Missions, 2005), CD.