35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 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?”
39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!”Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
I was reading this scripture and wanted to put myself in the story, to see what it might have been like for the disciples when everything around them was chaos. Have you ever been there? Of course you have! We all live in chaos at times, whether in our role as friend, wife, mother, leader, or follower, things around us can seem totally out of control. And yes…it is frightening to us when we have no control over our lives.
I imagined myself as a small child sitting curled up next to Jesus in the stern of the boat. He was sleeping peacefully. The boat began to lurch and dip and twist as the wind grew stronger and the waves got bolder! The air was cold and the spray from the waves was washing over the sides of the boat. Water was beginning to flood the inside. I could see the looks on the disciples’ faces as their concern turned to terror and then close to panic. Their anxiety was great as they began to wonder, “How can he sleep when we’re in such danger?” Now the water was crashing over the sides like an angry tempest. Jesus still slept.
Suddenly, one of the disciples made his way to the stern and shook Jesus violently. He yelled at him to wake up! The storm was about to cause the boat to capsize. He cried, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” I was watching all that took place, but didn’t feel their fear. Sitting next to Jesus I felt calm, though everything around me was crazy.
Jesus opened his eyes. He looked directly into the disciple’s eyes and slowly gathered his robe about him and began to rise. He held on to nothing! He was balanced even as the storm was tossing everyone else about. He gazed out on the horizon and simply said, “”Quiet! Be still!” He spoke plainly and deliberately but never raised his voice. His rebuke had peace in it. The wind stopped. The waves ceased. There was complete calm. I was thinking how awesome he was and how perfectly responsive nature was to his voice. I wanted to be like the wind and the waves that were obedient! When he spoke to his disciples, he marveled at their fear. He said to his disciples,
“Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
I had to stop and meditate on these words…let them really sink in. Here we are as his disciples today, living in the miracle of a post-resurrection world, and we still have no faith when the world is in chaos, when things are beyond our personal control.
The beautiful message that God gave me during this time of contemplation was simply this: “I don’t want you to be the wind or the waves. I want you to be the little child… stay close and just trust me.” Instead of stormy waters, His Peace washed over me.
Lord, give us more faith.