Children can be interesting when retelling a story or Bible lesson.
This was what happened recently after a Wednesday night Bible study. The children were asked when they arrived home what the lesson was about, and a fight almost broke out, as each told their version of the story and the meaning to them…
“We learned about the boat on the sea,” the first girl replied. “There were three men in the boat. Matthew, Mark and David were rowing along the sea, going from one bank to the other. As they were rowing, the sea started splashing waves along the side of the boat, tossing it back and forth; back and forth. Suddenly a large whale came along beside the boat, with some guy on top, waving at the three rowing the boat. Then…”
Another child, a little boy, shouted, “THAT’S NOT RIGHT! Jonah was not anywhere to be seen, he was in the big fish. And Matthew, Mark and David were singing songs from the lower parts of the boat, where they were chained to Roman guards.”
“You all were not listening,” replied the oldest of the three. “Matthew, Mark and Noah were in the boat and they were crying because they were afraid they were going to drown. Then Jesus came to them, walking on the water and said, ‘Mark, if you will just believe.’ Mark said, ‘I believe, Lord, just tell the waves to stop.’ Immediately, the waves stopped, and the sea was calm, and Jesus pulled the boat to the other shore, while they were amazed at this one who could calm the sea.”
Now, I must say they may have had the right thought of the story but the wrong characters.
When we read about Jesus in the boat with the disciples, we see the sea churning, the storms causing fear, and Jesus is asleep. He is sleeping while the disciples are experiencing great pain, sorrow and anticipating peril. But Jesus is asleep.
The scripture records the event in these words:
“On that day, when evening had come, He told them, ‘Let’s cross over to the other side ⌊of the sea⌋.’ So they left the crowd and took Him along since He was ⌊already⌋ in the boat. And other boats were with Him. A fierce windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking over the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But He was in the stern, sleeping on the cushion. So they woke Him up and said to Him, ‘Teacher! Don’t You care that we’re going to die?’ He got up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Silence! Be still!” The wind ceased, and there was a great calm. Then He said to them, ‘Why are you fearful? Do you still have no faith?’ And they were terrified and asked one another, ‘Who then is this? Even the wind and the sea obey Him!’” Mark 4:35-41 (HCSB)
Note the phrase, “He was asleep on the cushion…” This is an important part of the story. The cushion was where the Captain of the ship or boat took control of the boat or ship. It was his job to direct the direction and take care of the occupants. The Captain controls the boat!
Jesus is the Captain of your soul. William Ernest Henley wrote in Invictus with the defiant words: “I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul.” While it may appear as an alluring sentiment, the underlying idea is that no matter what comes, we can be in charge. Yet, this is not the case. We have storms in our lives, untamed beast which attempt to devour us, struggles and hardships which attempt to consume us, destroy us, and choke the life out of us. We cannot do anything to tame these things, without God who has all power and all authority. He alone can do anything He desires.
In the scripture from Mark, we see Him calming the sea; in another story we see Him giving life to the daughter of the distraught man; in another we see Him walking along the surface of the waters. That is my Jesus! He can do anything! We must believe, we must trust Him, we must yield in surrender to His plan for our lives.
Yes, He may just pull your boat to the other side of the sea, after calming the fears by stopping the storms.