A DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT by Pastor Phil
I am working on a message about peace that I will be sharing in two weeks and it got me thinking about the story of Jesus calming the storm. Let me share it here to refresh your memory, and then I’ll share a few thoughts I had about it.
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?”
It’s not hard to imagine the scene of a boat being swamped in a vicious storm. Then, picture Jesus, blissfully and inexplicably asleep. That’s the picture we want representing our life. Threats all around us, but rather than being like the disciples in a panic, we are Jesus so at peace, he’s sleeping through the storm.
Then, I’ve always imagined the next moments as Jesus standing up, moving to the bow of the boat, leaning into the storm with arms outstretched and shouting over the wind and waves, “QUIET, BE STILL!” But this past week I got to thinking, Jesus did not need to shout to get the storm to stop, as if his miracle power was dependent on the volume of his voice. Then, I thought, Jesus didn’t need to stand at the bow of the boat to silence the wind, in fact, he didn’t really need to stand at all. The more I thought about it, I realized he didn’t even need to be awake.
Jesus was not frightened, because he was God. The disciples were scared out of their wits, because they didn’t realize that they were with God.
Do you see where I am going with this?
Here are a couple of things I want you to notice. First, God was in the boat and there still was a storm. God’s presence is not a guarantee of smooth sailing. Second, Jesus didn’t say “quiet, be still” for the wind and waves to hear. Jesus could have just thought it and the storm would be gone. Jesus spoke for the disciples to hear. It wasn’t just the storm that needed to be quieted, but also the anxiety and panic inside the disciples.
Jesus spoke, to challenge the faith of the disciples. God was with them, there was no need to panic.
“Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” Jesus asked them.
That’s the question, you and I need to keep asking ourselves. I need to remind myself as I want to remind you. God is with you. As you feel anxiety build, tell yourself again and again, “God is with me. Quiet, be still.”