Jesus initiated a trip across Lake Galilee that almost ended the lives of his closest followers. After a long day of teaching and individual instruction our Lord turns to his disciples and says, “Let us go across to the other side” (Mark 4:34). This seems like a pretty normal request. He was physically exhausted and a few hours sailing on the calm waters at night would afford him the rest he desperately needed. He departed from the crowds that he had been teaching and was taken into a larger boat “just as he was” (4:35), absolutely spent. However, as we know from the rest of the story, a quiet trip across the lake was not what the Father had in mind. This was going to be a test of faith. Great calamity was about to overtake them (My favorite sermon on the subject of God’s sovereignty and human calamity is by John Piper, available here if you have time to read it). This episode is different that divine discipline (Hebrews 12:7-11). This is a stress test that will expose weaknesses and wrong thinking. If nothing else it proves that chaos and destruction from our perspective never, ever indicates a lack of control from God’s perspective. Sometimes God ordains ordeals.
There’s not a plant or flower below
But makes Thy glories known;
And clouds arise and tempests blow,
By order from Thy throne.