2018-09-13 - Peace, Be Still
Originally Published 2000-09-28
Mark 4:36-39 And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. 38 And He Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they awoke Him and said to Him, "Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?" 39 And being aroused, He rebuked the wind and said to the sea, "Hush, be still." And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. (NAS)
The Sea of Galilee is surrounded by step hills with deep ravines. During the day, the heat builds up on the Sea and is held in on calm days by the surrounding hills. In the evening, the heat can rise quickly into the night sky and cooler air comes rushing down the ravines creating sudden, very dangerous storms on the water with wind and high waves. It may have been on just such and evening that the disciples woke Jesus in fear of their lives. Their hearts and minds were in utter turmoil. These were experienced fishermen and there was nothing that they could do to keep the storm from overtaking them.
Jesus was perturbed with the men who woke Him. Many say that it was because He had told them that it was His intention to go to the other side of the sea. Since Jesus was God in human flesh, He would surely know that the boat would make it. Another thought would be that the Lord was upset because they had indeed tried everything they could do within their ability to withstand the storm. Only when that store of experience was exhausted and they were in complete panic did they come to the Master for help.
Isn't this just like us? And how like the storm on the sea are the storms in our hearts? We live our lives in our own sufficiency as long as we possibly can. The storms come up quickly and we struggle with them. Only when we are unable to withstand the next crisis, or get past the next problem, illness or issue do we come to Jesus feeling as though we have somehow failed Him. Really the only thing we have failed to do is include Jesus in our plans and pray when we first begin to encounter resistance, for guidance and wisdom. We are told to remember our labour of love and patience of hope in Jesus Christ (1 Thes 1:3), to thank God (1 Thes 2:13), and to pray (1 Thes 5:17) all without ceasing. Our relationship is to be a constant thing. Jesus is not a magician to get us out of our latest problem. He wants to have a constant conversation with us, as His children and His friends. He called the disciples His friends. He wants that kind of fellowship with us.
When Jesus rebuked the storm, the language indicates that the storm ceased immediately. It did not die down over a period of minutes. It died down at the command of the Soverign of the Universe. And the peace that replaced the storm was complete. It is just like the peace in our hearts when we give up a problem to Him. And it is just like the awe that struck the disciples who witnessed the complete control and power of the Savior over the very wind and the water.
John 15:13-15 "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. 14 "You are My friends, if you do what I command you. 15 "No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. (NAS)
Lord Jesus - bring us into a closer, more constant conversation with You. Help us to learn to hear Your still, small voice as you lead us around and through the storms of this life. Amen.
All verses are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) unless otherwise noted.