Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Peace in the Storm
Mark 4:39 He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm.
The storm had started up soon after they set out to sea and yet through it all Jesus had rested and was still. How could he sleep through such bad weather. Finally, when he did wake up, while the disciples were terrified, he simply rebuked the wind and declared “peace” over the storm. The storm didn’t just die down, “the wind ceased.” It was all over, Jesus had spoken and now “there was a dead calm.”
A year ago the United States was dealing with Hurricane Sandy and the devastating effects that were felt across the east coast. A year later northern Europe is dealing with the aftermath of hurricane force winds which hit just yesterday. Horrible storms causing millions of dollars worth of damage, bringing the loss of life and the transformation of coastal cities in just a few hours’ time. I know that there were those in the midst of these storms praying for a supernatural peace.
The disciples didn’t even know what to pray for! They had been faithfully serving together with Jesus but now they found themselves in a terrible storm, wondering if they would even survive. How was it that Jesus could sleep through it all? The disciples didn’t seem to understand that Jesus could calm the storm. That’s why they didn’t know what to do — they were frustrated with Jesus because they were trying to get the water out of the boat and he was simply sleeping. They finally asked him whether he cared that they were going to die?! But they never asked him to take control of their problem.
I think that there have been times in life when I can find myself on this boat. I feel like I have been faithful and I have been serving the Lord. I’m traveling with him and then all of a sudden it seems as if the boat is going to sink. It’s filling up with water as troubles surround and begin to fill up the boat. Without bothering the Lord I begin to try to problem solve on my own. How can I get this water out of here? Maybe I organize a bucket brigade but nothing that I do as a human is going to solve the storm problem. Whatever I can accomplish will only treat the symptom, but never reach to the cause. I can get some water out of the boat, but I cannot calm the storm. And no matter how hard I try to get the water out of the boat, there is a distinct possibility that the boat will still sink.
Why is it that we want to spend our time fighting and working at the symptoms without asking Jesus to speak to the cause? Our response to Jesus is often the same as the disciples’; “Do you want us to perish?” Instead of asking for help, we shout at him in frustration! Can’t you see what’s going on here Jesus? This ship is sinking and I’m doing everything I can to keep it from sinking and you’re not doing anything! And why not? Because this storm is of small consequence to him — all he has to do is speak the word and it will be calm. And then he looks at the disciples and asks them about their faith. Why didn’t they ask Jesus to help them? They had watched him do miracles, why didn’t they think he could save them now?
So often we are trying to get the water out of our sinking boat while crying out to God in frustration. Why not simply go to Jesus, wake him up and ask for his help? Do we think that God doesn’t want to be bothered by our problems? Jesus still cares about the storms of life in which we find ourselves. He is still in the business of calming the storm. Maybe it’s time that we stop trying to solve our own problems and begin taking our problems to the one who can calm the sea. It is in the relinquishing of our frustrations that we will find peace in the storm.
Lord, thank you for your work that continues to calm the storms of life. Amen.