On that day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd, they took Him with them in the boat, just as He was. And other boats were with Him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And He awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” Mark 4:35-40I've never noticed that little phrase tucked in verse 36: "(the disciples) took (Jesus) with them in the boat, just as (Jesus) was." We can't know exactly what that implies, but looking at the entire situation, we know Jesus had just been teaching large crowds on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, likely for days. And that immediately following getting in the boat, He fell asleep. I conclude that Jesus was tired and He chose rest.
Do you sometimes feel tired? One child has the flu (which they share with everyone else in the family) the week you need extra time to prepare for a big presentation. Several unpleasant meetings at work, along with an unending inbox of emails and family demands. Three different activities, in three different cities on one night. Dishes piled in the sink, an empty pantry, sticky messes on the floor and laundry baskets overflowing. It’s so easy to get pulled into the storm. It’s what naturally happens. But we weren’t meant to constantly strive like the disciples in that storm on the sea of Galilee. Jesus had that storm under control. He has your storm under control and He’ll control the next one too. Take a lesson from Jesus and rest.
Be still (cease striving) and know that I am God! Psalm 46:10aWhen the disciples went to Jesus in the middle of the storm, I notice two big things. First, Jesus rebuked the storm. If the root of the storm is symbolic of Satan, then we know the waves or chaos of life aren't the enemy, Satan is. Satan is using any means possible to separate us from Jesus, so he will tempt us, distract us and attack us with the busyness of life. Jesus has overcome the Satan and God's given us everything we need to stand against Satan's schemes. Second, I think there is a parallel between when the waves calm down and when the disciples stop trying in their own power to fight the storm. When we stop fighting and put down our Anchor (focus on Jesus), there is a calm.
So how do you rest like Jesus? As soon as you wake, talk to God. Tell Him Psalm 46:10a, "God, today, I am stopping striving and choosing to rest in You because You have this day under control." The more you choose to dialogue with Him through your day, the more opportunities you’ll have to choose His way of rest. When the storm is rough, stand firm and see that Satan's trying to use your crazy day to pull you away from the rest Jesus intends you to have. Choose the Anchor that gives rest.