Time was short in the School of Christ. The disciples would have merely three years and six months to learn what the Master Teacher, the Lord Jesus Christ, had to teach them. Today the halls of education might call it an “Accelerated Track.” The Sea of Galilee would prove to be intense training ground. Hands on learning is always profitable and most of the time unforgettable.
Just like the Lord knew them, He also knows His followers in the 21st century. He knows them so well that in His wisdom He knows that His disciples cannot have a mature spiritual life sustained solely by head knowledge. They must have a measure of experience that brings them to greater depths of wisdom and comprehension regarding firstly, the world they live in, (with all its situations and circumstances), secondly, regarding themselves, and thirdly regarding Jesus as Lord over all things.
So, out of the flow of an otherwise ordinary day, the Lord of heaven and earth allows this evening storm on the Sea of Galilee to teach His disciples some invaluable lessons.
Perhaps we could say the first crucial lesson is that “storms can arise unexpectedly.” At any moment, without any forewarning, we can find ourselves immersed in a “storm situation” of which we have no control over. Notice this particular storm rose up in the environment they were familiar with! Nevertheless even in this environment the Lord’s chosen disciples experienced the awful feeling of helplessness! The storm was bigger than themselves! This may sound very familiar to you as you read this. Or, maybe today, out of the flow of an otherwise ordinary day, you will be met with a threatening storm even as the disciples were caught unexpectedly.
The comfort in the time of trouble however is found in the second indispensable lesson, that “storms are not sovereign.” Storms may be very threatening but they are not independent, self-determining, or autonomous. Storms are allowed to enter into our lives at the gracious hand of an omnipotent God who, in His plan and purpose, desires to purge us of our dross, increase our faith, and refine us in the fires of trials that at the second coming of Christ, our purified faith would be counted more precious than gold that perishes (1 Peter 1:7).
The third vital lesson learned was that “storms are not the enemy.” The storm that day forced the disciples to understand that many a day may come when an unexpected situation, of which we have no control over, may invade my life and threaten my peace. It taught them how powerless they really were in themselves. But most significantly to go to the One who was undaunted by it all. The lesson forced them to go outside of themselves and look to Christ as their only hope, the Creator of the environment Himself, who could rightly say to the storm, “Peace, be still,” and it was.