Peace! Be Still!

Jesus Calms the Storm

“And He awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” (Mark 4:39)

After a long day of teaching, Jesus and His disciples would often climb into a boat and travel to the other side of whatever body of water they happened to be near. Ordinarily, this was an uneventful time, a way to get from one place to another. But on one particular day, things became more interesting. Namely, they found themselves in the middle of a terrible storm.

The fishermen among them were used to storms. But this one terrified even them. Their little boat was filling with water, the wind was howling around them, and chances of survival looked bleak. And, to top it all off, Jesus was asleep. The long day had left Him exhausted, and not even the tossing of the waves could shake Him from His slumber. All around Him, His disciples were struggling to keep themselves afloat, but He slept on.

Finally, they couldn’t stand it any longer. “‘Teacher,’” they cried, “‘do you not care that we are perishing?’” (Mark 4:38b) Then Jesus woke up. But instead of joining the panic, He did something rather strange. He spoke to the storm, saying, “‘Peace! Be still!’” And as soon as he spoke, the storm ended. The sea was as calm as if nothing had happened. The disciples were amazed and even afraid at this. This man had calmed with the storm with a word. Who was He, really?

In our own lives, we’re all too familiar with storms. Life is hectic, and there are often so many things going on that are beyond our control. They howl around us, pouring down on us, driving us to and fro, striving to drown us. And worst of all, there are many times when it seems like God doesn’t notice. All of this madness is happening, and He’s doing nothing to stop it. What if He doesn’t see? Or… what if He just doesn’t care?

But if the story of Jesus and the storm teaches us anything, it’s that He does care. And what’s more, He is able to do something about the situation. With three words, He was able to silence a raging storm. The real question, though, is this: If He was able to calm the storm, why did He wait so long to do it?

The answer lies in the disciples’ reaction to the event. After Jesus rebuked the storm, they were in awe of Him. All their assumptions about Him were cast aside, and they were left wondering just Who this man was. The terror of the storm was nothing compared to their fear and wonder of the man before them. And that’s still the case today. When life is comfortable, we’re happy with God. We’re glad that He’s with us, and we’re content to rest in the blessings He gives us. But in those times, do we really grow in our understanding of Him? In my experience, it’s only after He brings me through a trial that I get to know Him more. It is only then that I see His power. So whatever storm you’re going through right now, remember that God cares. Remember that He can and will calm the storm. And remember that at the end of it, you’ll have an even better understanding of Who He is. That understanding will be worth all the horrors of the storm.

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