Don’t Forget the Little Ships

Mark 4:36 “And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.”

The above passage of Scripture, tells us of the account of Jesus and His disciples crossing the Sea of Galilee and encountering a storm. The storm was fierce and waves were filling the ship with water. The disciples, no doubt, were franticly trying to keep the ship afloat. While fear gripped their hearts, in the back of the ship Jesus was asleep on a pillow.

The disciples came and woke Him, and asked Him, “Master, carest thou not that we perish?” Jesus rose up and rebuked the wind and said, ”Peace be still.” The Bible tells us that there was a great calm after He spoke peace to the situation.  He then turns to His disciples and asks them two important questions: “Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?” Jesus was teaching the disciples, that He was in control, and He can be trusted through the storms.

This same lesson can be applied to our lives. We will face many storms, trials, and problems in our lives. If Jesus is in our ship, He will speak peace to our situation. He may not calm the storm, but He can bring peace and a great calm to our hearts. We need to remember He is in control, if we let Him have control. Our storms can bring us to the brink of thinking the ship is about to sink. How we react to the storm is important. We can act in fear and a lack of faith, or we can keep our eyes on Jesus. If He’s not in a panic, we have nothing to fear, and He never panics, by the way.

One element of this account of Scripture is too often over looked. That is, the other little ships that were on the voyage across the Sea of Galilee. They too were caught in the storm. They were apparently smaller than the ship Jesus and His disciples were in. They were tossed and took on water at a greater rate than the ship that is the focus of the story.  The people in the little ships knew that Jesus was in the ship with the disciples. “What were the disciples and Jesus going to do about this storm? Was this it? Are we all going to die?”

Christian, there are little ships all around us. They may be our children, grandchildren, co-workers, friends, family members. The storms that come into our lives toss them as well. Our focus many times is on our struggle with the wind and waves. But we need to realize our storm is influencing those around us. They know that we have the Lord in our lives. How do we react to the storm? We far too often are like the disciples, and react with fear and no faith.

I share a story in our book, “Finding Grace and Peace, IN SPITE OF, Trials and tragedy, The Johnny Ashley Story,” of a time when our youngest son Johnny was going through a period of being out of control. He became violent and it was wearing on Joann and myself.  During that same time period, our eldest son, Bob, and I were in the midst of a heated “discussion” about something that probably was not all that important, and I said to him, “We don’t need this from you right now, don’t you know what your mother and I are going through?” Bob looked me square in the eyes and said, “Yeah, we know what you’re going through, because we are going through it too Dad!” Those words cut me to my heart, I had forgotten about the little ships in my own home.

I was so busy trying to bail out the water in our ship, that I had forgotten that this storm was affecting our other son’s lives. They were looking to see how we would react, and sad to say, my focus was only on the storm. I had allowed fear and a lack of faith to influence me, which in turn impacted them negatively.

Child of God, I know our storms are real, and at times overwhelming. Pain and heartache are a hard reality of life. The Christian life is not so much how we act, but how we react. Our testimony is built by how we handle our trials. Do we react in fear, or in faith? Let the Lord speak peace in the midst of our storms, for the sake of the little ships!