About the Narrator

Dean Lee retired from the US Coast Guard in 2016 after serving 36 years on the Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf Coasts. He now works in prison ministry, focusing almost exclusively on heroin addicts in Richmond, VA. Vice Admiral Lee is a senior fellow at the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, VA, and also is a motivational speaker for government and private industry.

This episode narrated by VADM William D. Lee, USCG (Ret.)

We need not fear when the unexpected arises.

Today’s Scripture reading comes from Mark 4:35, quoting from the NASB:

“On that day, when evening came, He said to them, ‘Let us go over to the other side.’”

Jesus and the disciples set out on what seemed to have been a normal day. The weather must have been agreeable for a boat ride across the lake, when suddenly, while Jesus was “in the stern asleep on the cushion,” they found themselves in the midst of a storm. Had the experienced fishermen-turned-disciples known a storm was coming, surely, they would have opted out of the boat ride to cross the lake.

I once had a boss whose common saying was: Don’t associate yourself with a disaster. Following that kind of leadership advice, the experienced fishermen would perhaps have never gotten in the boat. However, Jesus was not caught off guard by the storm and undoubtedly designed the lesson that would follow.

This experience would teach the disciples and serve to re-emphasize to us that we need not fear when the unexpected arises. God controls the wind and the rain. Though the disciples were fearful and helpless, they knew to whom to turn in the midst of sudden fear and apparent disaster. Jesus wants us to have faith, trusting that He is with us. Absent His physical presence, we can still rest in Christ’s full knowledge of each prevailing circumstance. Jesus walked across the water and joined them in the midst of their trial and reassured them.

Going “over to the other side” is a poignant metaphor for living by faith. Jesus asked His disciples, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” He Himself had said, “Let us go to the other side.” Reasonably, He had every intention of arriving fully intact at the destination to which He had said, “Let us go.” God cannot doubt Himself and those who travel with Him are asked not to doubt, as well. Leaders appreciate it when followers have confidence in their word. Jesus expects no less of His followers. Choose a faith walk that relies on Christ’s reliability.

Points to Ponder

Over the next week, here are 3 points to ponder during your personal time of reflection or with a small group or mentor.

  1. First, do not deny in a crisis what you know to be true about God’s reliability.
  2. Second, God’s silence should not be misconstrued as unconcern.
  3. Third, when decisions and actions prove difficult and fear invades, do not falter in the face of the untenable. Rather, approach each trial with immovable faith.