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  • Henry Omotayo

Calm or Hysteria?

Mark 4:35-41

Message No. 0553 | Twitter @GodandUs |

I do not know this for sure, but I expect that, at interview time, those who work at 911 (the emergency number in some western countries) would have to pass the ‘Calm’ test before they are employed. The reason should be easy: those who dial 911 are often very emotional, and in most cases, very hysterical, obviously because they are in life-or-death situations. I have listened to calls of this nature on TV and radio, and no one is happy to hear the conditions under which those calls are made. The problem is, if the caller is emotional and the 911 operator is unable to calmly handle the situation, the problem might not get solved and innocent lives would be in danger.

In Mark 4:35-41, Jesus and His disciples were crossing, in a boat, from one side of the sea to another. In verses 37 and 38, the Bible says:

And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”

The first obvious question in the minds of the disciples is, how could this Man be sleeping in the midst of a storm like this? Wasn’t He afraid of drowning? Of course, no one could fault the disciples for their actions. Though they had been with Jesus for months, they didn’t completely know Him. They still saw Him as human, and yes He was, but with a difference that the disciples were yet to fully understand. They had seen Him cast out devils and heal the sick, but they hadn’t seen so much of His authority over non-living conditions like a storm on the sea.

Based on the disciples’ hysteria, they asked an accusatory question from Jesus: “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” The disciples knew that Jesus could be of help, but the help they were expecting from Him was physical and reactive – they needed Him to help shovel water from the boat back into the sea and to help move things around in the boat to foster stability against the storm. This was all the disciples knew, and they thought that Jesus had left them alone to battle the storm while He was busy sleeping.

Are you being overpowered by a raging storm? Have you exhausted all of your power and abilities and the storm seems to continue? Do you feel like you are alone and there’s no one to assist you? Are you perhaps also feeling that Jesus is sleeping and not mindful of the fact that you are fighting the battle alone? The disciples felt the same way also. They were probably angry with Jesus that they had left their homes, families, and businesses to follow Him and had just discovered that He didn’t even care about them. Do you probably feel the same?

When Moses commissioned Joshua in Deuteronomy 31, He told him in verse 8:

And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”

In Deuteronomy 33:27a, Moses told Israel:

“The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the Everlasting Arms…”

Being hysterical might be human, but in the midst of that hysteria, we ought, always, to remember that the Everlasting Arms of our God is with us. Though things may seem to be going in the wrong direction, we must look beyond the symptoms and stand upon the promises of God. The action of Jesus in the boat shocked the disciples because they, up to that point, did not expect that His powers covered a raging storm. It did, and it still does.

Notwithstanding the conditions that we face in our daily lives, we need to know that there is nothing new that would take our God unawares. He is all-knowing, all-powerful, and ever present. So, in the midst of every storm, it is often refreshing to pause and feel some calm, remembering that the God who suffered and gave His Life to save us will not abandon us in our times of need. Keep your heads up and tell the devil off as Job did during his own storm; in Job 19:25, he said: “I know that my Redeemer lives…”

In the pandemic that we currently find ourselves, let us rest, assured that this is only temporary. Our lives might not be what we expect them to be, with a roller coaster of restrictions and lockdowns that don’t seem to ever end. But we should never give in to depression or give up on God. One day all of these will be over, and we will have our routines back. We may feel that we have lost time and opportunities, but our God is a God of recovery and we are able to recover and overtake every lost opportunity. Keep in there and continue to pray and to thank God for the breakthrough that we are about to witness. You will not be left behind, in Jesus mighty name. Amen. Have a blessed week!

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 If you are yet to give your life to Christ, you do not have a covenant with God and His promises do not apply to you. To come under these promises, please surrender your life to Christ today, by praying this prayer:
 Lord I know that I am a sinner and I am unable to save myself. I am sorry for my sins and I pray that you please forgive me. I am aware that Your Son Jesus died for my sins and I accept Him as my Lord and savior. I surrender my life unto you from this moment. Please take control of my entire being and help me to be obedient to your Word, going forward. Thank you, Lord, for hearing me. I have prayed in Jesus’ name. Amen.
 If you prayed the foregoing prayer, you have just been born again. Please find a Bible believing church in your area and ask to see the pastor. Let him or her know that you have just given your life to Christ and s/he will guide you on next steps in your journey as a child of God. The Lord bless you!
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