“And a great windstorm arose…”
That’s how Mark, an early story-teller about Jesus, began his story about Jesus hushing a hurricane, while on a boat, in the middle of the surging sea.
Mark actually uses three violent words to describe this storm:
First, he actually labels it a hurricane (Mark 4:37).
Second, he said it was a great hurricane (can you hear the furious flapping of the sails?)
Down here in the Low Country, we would call it a Category Five---Winds at or greater than 155 mph causing catastrophic damage to property, humans, and animals (read: you should be nowhere near this storm!).
Third, Mark mentions the ferocity of the wind.
Wind is tricky and untamed. It darts around without a leash, omni-directionally.
Wind is invisible.
Wind is unpredictable, uncontrollable, and the worst is that it messes up your hair and snaps thick trees in half SUDDENLY.
And where was Jesus?
Jesus was snuggled into a cushion and sleeping like a baby on Benadryl.
Are you serious Jesus?
How can you be sleeping while gusts of hurt, exhaustion, anger, resentment, and tenseness rush through the chambers of my heart?
How dare you drool on a cushion while I dread the next step in my uncontrollable life?
- Wake up Jesus!
…Mark continues his story, describing how his disciples had to shake him and wake him. I guess Jesus isn’t emotionally controlled by the uncontrollable storms of life. What kind of King is this anyway?
Imagine Jesus wiping his eyes, yawning, scratching his belly (he was a man after all!) and hearing his friends gripe with gusts of manipulative passive aggressiveness, “You don’t even care about us Jesus! You don’t even care if we DIE!”
“And worse Jesus…you don’t even care about the suddenness of the wind and how sudden events scare and startle us. C’mon Jesus! We are entitled to a “sudden-free” life. Remove the sudden surprises from our lives and do it NOW! Submit to our control-- King Jesus!”
Rather than being long-winded, let’s notice two ways that Jesus hushed the hurricane.
First, Jesus didn’t ignore the pressing, presenting problem.
He ordered the wind (that invisible, omnidirectional, uncontrollable force) to tuck its tale and stop its blowing.
With a puff of words- passing through the teeth of this King- the wind suddenly stood as still as a statue.
My over-active imagination can hear a stow-away cricket chirping in the sudden silence.
Jesus can punch the pressing problems of our life in the gut and stop the gusts from ripping our lives apart.
We simply need to ask.
In this story he decided to exercise his power.
But many other scripture stories reveal that he sometimes allows presenting pressures to finally uproot us in order to replant us in a better place.
And this leads me to the second way Jesus hushes a hurricane.
Jesus hushes our hurricanes by confronting the wild winds blowing through our souls.
This is his deeper mercy and grace.
Jesus calls his friends cowards and confronted them with their fear and mistrust of His messiahship.
When the wild winds blow our self-ordered life around, the “kings” we really rely on for ultimate security get revealed.
I regularly crown my “kings” of comfort, business, busy-ness, approval, having enough money, unhindered planning, food, health, entertainment, kids and frictionless, relational interactions with trust.
But those false kings shake and shift their heads, as I try to crown them, like the winds of a hurricane. My trust in them causes catastrophic damage to God, others, myself and even creation.
What false kings do you trust?
What if Christ calms the hurricanes of our hearts by allowing some presenting hurricanes to topsy-turvy our false kings so that we finally crown him and him alone?
What if Christ suddenly motions you onto the slippery ice of life, onto the dance floor of your day- and gently orders you to resist your resistance and doubt your doubts about his Lordship?
“But I may not perform well Jesus. It’s windy, and I have trust issues.”
Can you hear Jesus reply?-
“I performed perfectly so that you can change progressively, supplied by the gentle winds of my grace.”
Hey…Mark ends the story by saying that even the suddenness of the wind submits to Christ’s kingship.
Let that gust of truth throw us around and shift our full allegiance onto Christ, and Christ alone
Metro North Church.