A wonderful little passage on Mark 4/Matthew 8 from Sally Lloyd JonesJesus Storybook Bible, with illustrations by Jago.

unnamed-2The sun was going down. The air was warm and still.

“Let’s go across the lake,” Jesus said to his friends.

Jesus had been helping people all day and now he was tired. So they left the crowds at the shore and set out in a small fishing boat.

Jesus climbed into the boat to take a nap. As soon as his head touched the pillow, he fell fast asleep.

It was a beautiful evening. A gentle breeze rustled the sails. The friends were chatting happily as they headed out into the middle of the lake. Everything was perfect. Just right for a nice quiet sail…

They were only about halfway across when, out of nowhere, whirling winds swept across the lake, fierce and strong, like a hurricane! A blinding flash of lightning lit up the sky. Thunder roared right overhead!

The storm blew the water into towering waves that hurled the little boat up, up, up–then sent it hurtling, CRASHING back down, down, down!

The fishing boat was blown and buffeted and tossed and turned–back and forth and up and down and left and right and round and round!

And in the middle of the storm, Jesus was sleeping.

Now Jesus’ friends had been fishermen all their lives, but in all their years fishing on this lake they had never once seen a storm like this one. No matter how hard they struggled with their ropes and sails, they couldn’t control their boat. This storm was too big for them.

But the storm wasn’t too big for Jesus.

“HELP!” they screamed. “Wake up! Quick, Jesus!”

Jesus opened his eyes.

“Rescue us! Save us!” they shrieked. “Don’t you care?”

(Of course Jesus cared, and this was the very reason he had come–to rescue them and to save them.)

Jesus stood up and spoke to the storm.

“Hush!” he said. That’s all.

And the strangest thing happened…

The wind and the waves recognized Jesus’ voice. (They had heard it before, of course–it was the same voice that made them, in the very beginning). They listened to Jesus and they did what he said.

Immediately the wind stopped. The water calmed down. It glittered innocently in the moonlight and lapped quietly against the side of the boat, as if nothing had happened.

The little boat bobbed gently up and down. There was a deep stillness and a great quiet all around.

unnamedThen Jesus turned to his wind-torn friends. “Why were you scared?” he asked. “Did you forget who I am? Did you believe your fears, instead of me?”
Jesus’ friends were quiet. As quiet as the wind and the waves. And into their hearts came a different kind of storm.

“What kind of man is this?” they asked themselves anxiously. “Even the winds and the waves obey him!” they said, because they didn’t understand. They didn’t realize yet that Jesus was the Son of God.

Jesus’ friends had been so afraid, they had only seen the big waves. They had forgotten that, if Jesus was with them, then they had nothing to be afraid of.

No matter how small their boat–or how big their storm.