Once after a long day of work, Jesus and His disciples climbed into a boat to cross the sea. They pushed out and settled in for a little break until work would kick back up again on the other side. Some of the disciples, due to their fishing experience, knew how to navigate the waters, so were comfortable on the seas. Jesus immediately laid down and fell asleep.
Very soon however, the winds picked up and they were in the middle of a full-blown storm. The wind speeds were high and created large waves that crashed down on their boat. They began taking on water and became fearful their lives might be lost at sea.
Meanwhile, Jesus continued to sleep. His disciples were agitated at His disconnect from the urgency of the situation. Filled with panic and fear they angrily awoke Him saying, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” (Mark 4:38).
Jesus stood, looked out on the stormy sea and spoke directly to the wind “Calm!” and to the waves “Peace!” The disciples stood in amazement as suddenly the weather changed with the wind stopping and waters resting. They marveled.
Then He turned and confronted their lack of faith in Him. Their eyes fixed on the storm and they became controlled with anxiety and doubt. They lost all sense of reason, as panic took over.
The event communicated how Jesus has the power to control the greatest forces of nature and how He wants people to trust Him when walking through the disasters of life.
Jesus does not promise to calm every storm, but does show how through Him we can experience His peace. If we are dealing with the effects of a hurricane, tornado or a wild fire, His calm can reign. If we are dealing with a wayward child, bankruptcy or traumatic medical diagnosis, He can give us rest.
Sometimes He chooses to let the storms come and they cause great damage and pain, at other times we are spared with a sense of relief. There is a mystery to it. We do not understand God’s ways. But one thing we do understand, His steadfast presence and abiding peace remain.
A prayer for you: Lord God, I pray for those in our country who are walking through the effects of hurricanes in the south and the forest fires in the west. I don’t understand why these disasters were not suddenly stopped. Even so, I pray you will show yourself mighty to those who have suffered loss. Help them to trust in you despite devastation all around. May you lift their eyes heavenward and fill them with your joy and rest.