“And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves…” ~ Matthew 8:23-24a
Had the disciples put out to sea without Christ’s bidding they would not have had the same reason to expect His protection and deliverance.
The lesson we learn here is, that storms may arise, even when we are in the plain line of Christian duty. We should not be discouraged by the difficulty or trouble which comes and conclude that we are in the wrong path.
We see, also, that Christ’s presence with His disciples, does not keep the storms away. There are no promises in the Bible that Christian people shall not have trials. The Gospel builds no high walls around us to break the force of the stormy winds. Troubles come to the Christian just as surely as to the worldly man.
There are the storms of temptation these sweep down with sudden and terrific power from the cold mountains of this world! Then, there are storms of sickness, of disappointment and adversity, of sorrow which make the waves and billows to roll over the soul.
On the Sea or Galilee, travelers say that a boat will be gliding along smoothly over the glassy surface, unbroken by a ripple when suddenly, without a moment’s warning a tempest will sweep down, and almost instantly, the boat will be tossed upon the angry waves.
Just so, do many of life’s storms come. Great troubles come when we least expect them. We may be at peace in a happy home. At an hour when we think all is calm, without warning the darling child whom we love so much, lies dead in our arms! The friend we trusted, and who we thought would never fail us proves false! The hopes cherished for years wither in our hands, like flowers when the frost comes!
The storms of life are nearly all sudden surprises. They do not hang out danger-signals days before, to warn us. The only way to be ready for them is to have Jesus with us in our boat.
by J. R. Miller (from “Daily Bible Readings in the Life of Christ” 1890)