Are you in the midst of a storm today? Are you desperate for some peace?
Allow me to direct you to seven short verses in the Bible, Mark 4:35-41. In this passage, Jesus is asleep in a boat in the middle of a storm while his disciples are trying to arm-wrestle the wind and the waves without Him. As things get worse, the fearful disciples shake the Prince of Peace to upright position and plead for help.
In order to make this passage become more vivid in your mind, step into the storm-tossed boat with the disciples. Feel the waves crashing in and the boat filling up with fierce surges of water. Frantically shake Jesus’ shoulders and ask with them, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”
(Have you ever felt like Jesus went to sleep in the midst of your storm, and that He simply didn’t care? I have.)
The story continues, and remember, you are still a main character in it. The next words spoken were directed not to the disciples but to the wind and the waves. Jesus, now awake, simply said three words, “‘Peace. Be still!’ And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” (Mark 4:39). Experience the awe of the God-Man’s commanding peace; like a light-switch, the raging storm changes to placid silence.
(Realize that sometimes the greatest storms are the ones that are within us.)
I think the main point of this story is found in the two follow-up questions that Jesus asks the disciples. Remember, you’re in the boat, and He’s asking you:
“Why are you so afraid?”
“Have you still no faith?”
Pause a moment and answer Jesus.
Goodness, sometimes I don’t like my answers! Why do I tend to be fear-full and faith-less?! Ugh!
Bottom line, we need a change in perspective. Again, we see this in our passage. It says, “And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, ‘Who then is this, that even the wind and sea obey him?'” (Mark 4:41). If we could have the “right kind of fear” THEN we would have the right kind of faith. When our focus is on Jesus, our perspective changes from fear of our current reality to awe of His supreme authority. This accurate kind of fear is one that builds our faith rather than diminishes it.
Friends, your Creator and Commander is “in your boat.” Even if your storm continues to rage, be confident that He is not going anywhere. “Wake Him up” with your fervent prayers. He sometimes waits to move through them. Also be certain of this: He does care, and He is in control. For He Himself is your peace (Ephesians 2:14).
I will end with an old but familiar saying that I think sums up what the disciples learned long ago, and what we can hold as true today:
No Jesus, no peace. Know Jesus, know peace.
You are the Keeper of the Stars. You are the Creator of the Universe. You are the Sustainer of all that Breathes. You are the Holder of the Wind and Commander of the Waves. And You are in my boat. I am awed at Your power and humbled by Your love. Today, let my soul hear and receive one more time Your personal words, “Peace, be still.” Amen.