Wind and Sea

Steven Bouma-Prediger

READ : Mark 4:35-41

“Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” (v. 40)

The wind was fierce and the waves were high, crashing over the bow of our canoe. My
daughter and I paddled as hard as we could but seemed to get nowhere. Out in the middle of
this Canadian lake, neither of us wanted a swamped canoe and an involuntary swim.
Furthermore, we had all of our gear and food in the canoe. A spill would be not only
inconvenient but dangerous. As we paddled I prayed we would make it safely to shore.

Jesus and his disciples were in the middle of the Sea of Galilee – a body of water
notorious for sudden and violent storms – and a great windstorm arose. Not being a sea-faring people, the Jews viewed the sea as a threatening place, a fearful place, a
place from which monsters came (Daniel 7). In the minds of some it symbolized the power of
evil and chaos.

But Jesus rebukes the wind and says to the water, “Peace! Be still!” In other words,
the Messiah is here – the One who has power over even the unruly waters – and God’s
kingdom of peace is at hand. So why are you afraid? After all you have seen, have you no

We believe; O Lord, help our unbelief.


O God, ruler of all things, remind us of your power and love, and give us