We continue with our study of peace. Last week we learned a little about peace. Today we find Jesus in a peaceful situation. That peaceful situation can teach us a lot if we are open to what he has for us.
We begin our study in Mark 4 verses 35-41:
That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
As I was beginning my study on peace I naturally went to prayer and asked God for direction. I was led to this passage. Again let me remind you this is where God led me, he may lead you down a different path on the way to peace. As I began to read this Scripture I began to see where peace laid the foundation for this scenario.
We see a storm is raging all round Jesus. Those around him are fearful. They are thinking they could drown in this storm. The water is coming into the boat and it’s beginning to fill up. I am not a swimmer so for me to be thrown into the water and expected to survive, well that may not happen. I don’t mind storms, but I could do without all the drama of thunder, lightening and wind. Just give me a peaceful rainfall. But this is not a peaceful rainfall this is a raging storm. The Disciples are fighting hard to keep the boat afloat. All the while Jesus is asleep in the stern.
As I began to pray about this I began to see what might have been happening. First of all Jesus was tired. He had been teaching crowds of people. He was exhausted. It is natural to sleep during a storm if you have had an exhausting day I know. He was probably in a pretty peaceful sleep. While the others are fretting he’s peaceful.
The Disciples can’t stand it anymore. They were fretting; he was sleeping. If they couldn’t sleep he couldn’t either. So they woke him. He got up and rebuked the wind. In the dictionary rebuke means reprimand, scold, and admonish. I know if someone wakes me up I am not in a very good mood. I probably would scold someone too. Here Jesus rebukes the wind and the winds become calm.
The whole peaceful situation comes alive for me in the next statement. It’s when Jesus says, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” For me I see Jesus as sleeping so peaceful simply because he had no reason to be afraid. He has his faith and he knew his life was in God’s hands and he’d be just fine.
So what does that teach us? When life’s storms are all around us, when we think we are about to drown in our life’s troubles we need not be afraid. If we have faith in our God then we will be just fine. Our life may fill up with troubles, the storm might look like it’s going to overtake us, but God will not let it do us in. He will be there to calm the storm. All we have to do is the same thing the Disciples did ask and he will provide a calming of the storm. We don’t know how long the Disciples waited to wake Christ before they woke him up, but when they did he provided for them. Many times I have found myself weathering the storm before I even thought about going to Christ. I thought I can make it through this myself without bothering him. It was when the storm was about to over take me that I would find myself asking God to calm the stormy seas of my life.
After going to God I often hear the same words from him that the Disciples heard, “why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” I think God is reminding us to have faith in Him; to trust Him and to know when the time is right he will calm the storm. I often think I am afraid because I am thinking God is asleep and he doesn’t know what’s going on and I am going to drown. God knows all things. He knows what we are going through. He is omniscient.
During the storms of life we need to be more like Jesus. He had faith in his Father and He trusted in that faith. If we trusted more in our faith we would hear God say, “why are so afraid?” a little less often.
Maybe the next time storms come upon us maybe we should get out Mark and reread the story. Maybe this should be a reminder that we need to not be afraid and to have a little more faith in the one who watches over us every day. If we truly long to be like Jesus then in the midst of storms we too must learn to be peaceful.
Dear God: I love it when scripture comes alive for me and I get new meanings from it. This one reminds me in the midst of life’s storms I can be peaceful if only I trust my faith and believe in you. Instead of focusing on the storm I must learn to focus more on you. When I do that I can be in a peaceful state of mine. Thank you for giving us examples to follow. Amen.