Discover His heart: He speaks peace to the storms of life
The thing I remember most about viewing the movie, The Perfect Storm, is the irritation that started to build in me as I watched it. Anytime money and/or greed determine the destiny of an individual, life takes an unfortunate turn in one way or another. I was irritated that the storyline made me care for the willful crew of the Andrea Gail and for the loss that would occur. Commercial fishing is a fickle business, dependent on weather, sea, and fish, all of which are out of the fisherman’s hands.
The Captain and crew didn’t know about the catastrophic storm that was brewing when they started out. When they learned of it, they chose to put themselves at the mercy of the storm in hopes of saving their catch instead of seeking safe harbor. Grrrr…. Some fishermen in our story today found themselves in the perfect storm, but instead of riding it out alone, they ran for help.
@ Mark 4
“They took [Jesus] with them in the boat…A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But He was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke Him up and said to him, ‘Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?’ 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. He said to them, ‘Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?’ And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, ‘Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?’” (36-41, NRSV)
Several years ago I happily found myself in a boat on the Sea of Galilee…without a storm. It was hard to visualize a treacherous storm as I sat on the calm water, but our host described the nature of this Sea. Encircled by mountains and hills, the Sea of Galilee sits at 680 feet below sea level with somewhat shallow waters for a body of water this size, making it aptly conducive for a sudden, perfect storm. This was the situation the disciples found themselves in that night.
It was no small rowboat that carried the crew across the Sea. It was large enough to hold 12 men and provide space for Jesus to stretch out for a nap. Most on board were not novices at sea – they were seasoned fishermen. To find them in a panic speaks to the fierceness of the storm they were facing, but they soon learned that no storm was too fierce for the Lord. Although their fright revealed a lack of faith, at least the disciples knew where to go to for help! “The disciples went and woke Him up, shouting, ‘Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!’” (Matthew 8:25)
We may find ourselves in a situation that feels like the perfect storm, out to destroy us; but as with the disciples that night in the boat, our storm is never too fierce for the Lord to save us. When we follow the Lord, we are never at the mercy of the storm. We are at the mercy of Jesus, the peace speaker. And when we run to Him in our storm with its raging winds and torrential rains crying “Lord, save us!” we will not drown. He will speak peace to our storm, and if we let Him, He will fill our hearts with peace as well.
We may sense the storm still raging around us, but it’s as if He places us in the calm of the storm, the eye of the hurricane, if you will. Our hearts are filled with peace, and we are in a place of safety until the storm dissipates. When we’re facing life’s storms, it’s easy to forget that we are not alone in the boat. Right there with us is the peace speaker who will speak to our storm, “Peace! Be still!”
Moving Forward: Who then is it that even the wind and the sea obey him? “I know the Peace Speaker, I know Him by Name. I know the Peace Speaker, He controls the wind and the waves. When He says, ‘Peace, be still,’ they have to obey. I know the Peace Speaker, Yes, I Know Him by Name.” (Geron Davis/Meadowgreen)
Tomorrow @ I Corinthians 9-10