The Three Cries
There are 3 accounts of the disciples facing a storm at sea – one in Matthew 8:23 to 27, Luke 8: 22 to 25 and Mark 4: 35 to 41. Three accounts narrating the same tempestuous evening that tested the disciples and taught them to place their confidence in Jesus.
What we will look at are the three distinct ways the disciples cried out to Him when faced with a challenge. These three accounts also have stark similarities to how we react when a crisis presents itself in our lives. Moreover, they represent 3 distinct phases in our lives during a crisis and how we cry out to Him.
1. "Lord, save us, we are going to die" - The Anxious Cry
In Matthew 8: 23 to 27 (Amplified Bible) it says in verse 25, ‘Lord, save us, we are going to die’.
This is the time when we are initially faced with the crisis and our first reaction is to cry out to God asking Him to save us. We know that He is with us in our life (the boat).
However, we have already confessed with our mouths that we are going to die and to fail. We have given a benefit-of-the-doubt to the crisis that it can destroy us. We do this even before we have heard from God, what His perspective on the situation is.
In other words, we confess our destiny before praying to Him and listening to His Word over the situation.
2. "Do you not care we are about to die?" - The Questioning Cry
In Mark 4: 35 to 41 (Amplified Bible) in verse 38, we begin to question God and whether He cares that we are in this mess, faced with danger. We ask, ‘Lord, do you not care that I am going through this? Do you not care about my problems? Why are you not moving and turning a deaf ear to my situation?’ We question His capability to take us through the storm unscathed
3. 'We are about to die' - The Giving Up Cry
Now, in Luke 8: 22 to 25 and verse 24, we have reached the point where we are certain that we WILL die. In our hearts, we have already decided and resigned to the fact that this storm will swallow us whole and nothing will remain of us.
Compare this verse to the one in Matthew where it says ‘we are GOING to die’ and here where we confess ‘we are ABOUT to die’, implying failure or death is imminent
In our lives when a storm hits us out of the blue we begin by seeking the Lord, knowing that He is with us (Jesus was in the stern). When the crisis persists and we perceive that there are no changes in our situation even after we prayed, we begin questioning Him; even cursing Him. As the problem continued and began to get worse, the questioning turned into frustration, frustration into anger and anger into rebellion.
Doubting in God eventually ends up in rebellion against Him
In Luke, Jesus says let's go over to the other side and in Mark, it is written that Jesus calls them to go to the other side when evening came (Mark 4:35). Of all the time in the world, He calls them when the sun was setting and there would be no more light. Now, we trust Him and go ahead, only to be met by darkness and problems.
It is also said in Mark 4:36 that other boats were there too. However, we only know of the storm hitting the one with Jesus in it!
We think, why is this happening to us? Why not the others? We responded to God's call, accepted and trusted in Jesus but now behold- we are about to be dead, while nothing happens to the others.
In our limited faith, we almost usually tend to forget that it was Jesus who called us to go cross-over with Him.
And if He called us, He can preserve our lives in the midst of any storm.
3 Aspects to Note
There are 3 key aspects to note and keep in mind:
Jesus was completely at rest - asleep, in perfect peace - when the storm was ripping the boat apart. He never worried and He never became anxious. In fact, He was giving the disciples an example of how they should have reacted - be at perfect peace.
Jesus got up and did NOT answer their frantic cries for help. Jesus dealt with the situation. He only uttered ‘Hush. Be still’ and it was calm; a perfect peace. The threatening storm became still instantly
When Jesus rebuked the storm He rebuked two elements – the Wind and the Waves. Jesus dealt directly with the invisible force, which is the Wind that was causing the visible Waves to rise and fall and destroy the boat.
Like the wind, there are forces that we cannot see in our lives which are the actual causes of a physical or visible situation.
Jesus has authority over both
We need to remember that the God who called is right by our side. When He is there nothing can touch us. At certain points, we may feel that He is not listening to us or getting up to answer. And when He does get up, it is only to rebuke. This is where we need to realize that God has NOT left you alone and He is teaching us in the midst of the trial. He rebuked the disciples because they forgot who was there with them that night in the boat.
It is a lesson to be taken to heart – if we do not realize who Jesus is and what His power is, we will end up succumbing to the snares of the enemy. When we know and realize who Jesus is, all it takes is a simple rebuke in His Name to calm any storm in your life.
Let us take heed not to confess our destiny by our faithless statements because there is immense power in our words. Remember, before God performed any act there was always a Word that preceded it. He said ‘Let there be light’ and then the light came into the world. He first sent out a Word and then it comes to pass.
Words have the power to create and destroy. The enemy always tries to influence our will to get us to declare failure and death over our lives because he knows that our words have power.
So do not be frightened and do not give up. You will notice that even though the storm tried to drown the disciples they DID cross over.
If you are going through a storm, remember, it is not the end. You will not drown.
All you need to do is believe, be at peace and Jesus will take you to the shore and anchor your boat