When the Boat Begins to Rock by John McKain

When the Boat Begins to Rock
John McKain
Mark 4:35-41

We might call it a "wind shear." It was an atmospheric disturbance that Mark and Luke call a "lailaps" or whirlwind, or a storm that blusters forth in furious gusts and fearful squalls. Matthew calls it "a great shaking" or "sea-quake." Whatever it was, it was a storm that surpasses the ferocity that most all of us have ever witnessed. It was a violent upheaval, a howling tempest. Luke tells us it was something that suddenly came down upon the lake, it fell down from the sky. Listen to Mark's account of what happened on that fearful evening.


Their boat had begun to rock. The disciples were concerned. They were filled with fear. There situation was serious, and Jesus was fast asleep. What were they going to do?

What do you do when your life boat begins to rock? Sometimes we act like we are on a rollercoaster ride. We just close our eyes, hang on for dear life, and ride out the storm. But that type of coping with life neither matures us nor strengthens us for future experiences.

Other times we storm the opposing force with the fearlessness, will, and self-determination of a General Patton or Douglas MacArthur. If we don't get killed or hurt or make a mistake, we will be heroes. Well, obviously, this can be dangerous not only to ourselves, but also to those around us.

This story suggests some helpful responses to those times of sudden trouble, to those times when we are filled with fear, to those times when our life is undermined with uncertainty. Times when we don't know what to do and it seems Jesus is asleep in the stern of the boat.

I. First, carefully appraise and acknowledge your condition.(37,38)

Keep in mind that these were seasoned fishermen who were with Jesus. They knew the limitations of their vessel. They could ride out many storms. But the Sea of Galilee had its own geographical peculiarities that contributed to the current dilemma. It is located in the norther ...

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