Today’s Gospel reading is a fascinating one, because it tells a long narrative of several smaller stories. Imagine with me if you were one of the disciples encountering such a day. Several years ago, when meditating on this passage, I wrote the following meditation, I share it with you today.

Mark 4:35-5:43

Peter grew up on the sea, an accomplished fisherman, a skill he learned from his father, and father’s father. But this day Peter was about to face waves he had never before seen, created by a storm he could not navigate. It all started with a simple enough request. Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go to the other side.” Peter had made this journey hundreds of times, but today was different. As they made their way across the sea, a violent storm rose up, a storm so violent that these seasoned fishermen feared for their lives (4:38). But this storm was only the beginning of their wild ride. With a word, Jesus stilled the storm.

Safe on land, amazed, bewildered, and thankful to be alive – the disciples stumbled out of the boat. They came out of one storm, only to walk straight into another, a man who could no longer control himself, nor be controlled. His compulsions had taken over, and he had given into his demons. This was the last place they wanted to be. The graveyard nearby is where they wanted to leave the image of this man. “Stay with the dead, out of sight, out of mind.” But with a word, Jesus freed the captive.

After another boat ride, a different storm appears. A frantic father fears for his sick daughter’s life. Jesus follows Jarius through the rush-hour traffic of the market. But not even halfway there, he stops. Jarius pleads for Jesus to hurry, but Jesus looks around the market place and asks the unthinkable question, “Who touched me.” Peter surveyed the pressing crowd and said what everyone was thinking, “Everyone touched you!” But a frail and fearful woman came forward. Chronic illness almost stamped out her life; it almost took her hope. But with only hope she touched Jesus, and with that hope, Jesus healed disease.

At that moment, when the disciples were sure that nothing could make this day any crazier, someone approached and announced that Jarius’ daughter had died. The emotions had been redlining all day long, and now it was all they could do to keep it together. But Jesus continued on to Jarius’ house. He entered the room of the deceased daughter, and with a word, Jesus restored her life.

Like Peter, we may feel fairly accomplished at life. But before us all are storms we don’t know how to weather and fears we don’t know how to overcome. The only thing about which we can be sure is that change is inevitable. So in the face of the fearful storms, let us look to the Lord and listen for His Word.

Lord over disaster, demons, disease and death, reveal to me the storms in my life that you want to calm, the demons you want to silence, the diseases you want to heal, and the life you want to provide. Lord, by your grace make me into your fervent disciple.