Highlight: The eye of the storm

Mark 4 recounts the story of Jesus’ disciples getting caught in a violent storm on the Sea of Galilee.

Alaskan fisher-woman, Leslie Leyland Fields has personal experience with the nature of  sea storms and helps us visualize the harsh situation disciples found themselves caught in.

“The disciples didn’t have an engine, all they had is oars. You’ve got two guys on oars and this storm was so fierce they couldn’t keep the bow into the waves, and the boat went sideways to the waves.”

“The gospel of Mark tells us that the waves were sweeping over the boat, and that’s exactly what happens when you get sideways to the waves. Their other boat is filling up with water and you just imagine how terrifying that is. They don’t have life jackets, they can’t call the Coast Guard to come and rescue them. If they go in the water – that’s it.”

While the situation appears to be dire, Jesus was with them. Leslie elaborates on a few important details from this scene.

“Jesus is with them, but He’s asleep. He’s sleeping in the stern of the boat. Jesus is sleeping on a cushion. Well that cushion was probably some kind of buoy for a sea anchor. A sea anchor is what you throw out in storms to stabilize the boat, to give the boat a little bit of stability in the way.”

“The disciples are sure they’re going to die, they’re going to drown, and then Jesus is sleeping on the one thing that might help them.”

The disciples didn’t believe Jesus was there to save them, so they consumed themselves with worry and fear, instead of reaching out to Him to calm the raging seas.

“I understand how terrified they were, but one reason they were so scared is because they didn’t know yet who Jesus was. If they had known who He was, they would have awakened Him immediately, but they were trying so hard to get out of this on their own. They didn’t know that Jesus is Lord over the sky and over the seas.”

The storms of life can often reveal what we believe to be true about Jesus Christ. Jesus not only saved the disciples from death, but also saved them from their disbelief.

“When Jesus calmed that storm, I think He did it not so much to save them from death but to save them from a worse fate, which is disbelief. I think He calmed that storm to show them who He was.”

“We are so lost and we are so terrified when we don’t know who Jesus is and that’s death. When we don’t believe that Jesus is with us, when we separate ourselves from God, that is real death.”


Leslie Leyland Fields has been an Alaskan commercial fisherwoman for four decades, working with her husband and six children in a salmon-fishing operation on their own island off the coast of Kodiak Island, Alaska. She is author of several books including .

Crossing the Waters

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