Though we don’t fully understand the degree in which Satan impacts the natural world, Scripture does reveal that his influence is there, such as seen in the story of Job (see Job 1:18-19). Ellen G. White also tells us that, “Satan is even now seeking by disasters upon sea and land to seal the fate of as many as possible.”-In Heavenly Places, p. 348, another indication of his power in this area.
Surely, amid the seeming ceaseless natural disasters that strike the world, we are seeing the reality of the great controversy play out here on earth.
In this particular story, after a long day of teaching, when evening approached, Jesus suggested that He and the apostles go to the less inhabited opposite shore. Partway into their journey a fierce windstorm struck them suddenly, and waves crashed into the boat (Mark 4:37). Jesus was so exhausted He lay sleeping in the stern, seemingly oblivious. With the disciples so occupied in battling the storm, maybe it was some time before they realized that Jesus was asleep.
Jesus doesn’t say anything when they first cry out to Him. He does not give any sermon to explain the predicament that they are in or suggest ways that the disciples can act to be victorious in the situation. He just stands up, raises His hand, and tells the wind and waves to settle down and be quiet, as if they are merely rowdy children.
At this the disciples are just overwhelmed with awe. They “feared exceedingly, and said to one another, ‘Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!'” (Mark 4:41, NKJV).
Though the lessons are many here, with this story we can see the extent of Jesus’ power and, thus, our need to trust Him, no matter what.
Though we can see the reality of the Lord’s power, even over nature, the one place where He will not force that power is on our own will. What should this tell us about how careful we need to be with the sacred gift of free choice, and how should the reality of the great controversy make us even more careful in how we use that gift?