Keep calm, don’t panic!

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.

Mark 4:37-38a

One of the things that I’ve learnt as an estuary sailor is just how quickly storms can appear – almost from nowhere.  One minute, you can be out in a boat in glorious sunshine and a gentle breeze, the next minute you can be hit by a terrible squall that can be very scary indeed.  There have been times when I’ve been out in a boat and got caught out by the weather and have found myself wondering if perhaps I would ever make it back to sure.  I speak about it matter of factly, but it can actually be really scary indeed.

I’m just an occasional sailor, unlike many of the disciples, who ate fishermen would have been used to working out boats on the Sea of Galilee.  When they are hit by a storm in our current Mark Marathon article, they panic, and their fear is evident.  Jesus, however, is calmly sleeping in the back of the boat.

There’s a great deal that we can glean from these short verses.  I’m going to pick out just two points today.  First of all, just like the rest of us who are wholly human, Jesus got tired.  He had been working extremely hard, and was now taking the opportunity to have a quick rest.  Sometimes we can be inclined to focus on Jesus’ divinity, but he was human – just like you and me – and had the same needs that we have.

Secondly, Jesus is completely unfazed by the storm – to the extent that he can happily sleep through it.  Whilst the disciples are panicking, Jesus sleeps.  Jesus remains calm while those around him lose their heads.  Perhaps as we strive to be like Christ we can reflect on this, and try to remain calm ourselves.  I know myself that I can sometimes get anxious over the smallest things, but Jesus is the model of a calm and relaxed man.

So today, reflect on just who Jesus was.  He might be God, but he is also human, and he knows our worries, concerns and needs.  Secondly, think about how calm Jesus remains under pressure.  Why not strive to do the same yourself – whether you should find yourself in a squall at sea, or just in a busy period at work or school?

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