And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

Mark 4: 39

The depth and breadth of God’s Word is truly amazing to me, for the Lord never seems to stop revealing new thoughts and applications of it. Thus, I admit that I had never thought of this well-known verse from Mark’s account of Jesus’ time with us on earth in human form in the following manner. In this moment in the gospel narrative we know that Jesus is demonstrating His Godness in that He possesses power over nature, and He also provides a tangible example of the way that He did then and continues to care about and for people in this world. Additionally, there is a strong suggestion of the fact that followers of His will encounter opposition and that He will engage with those forces for our sakes. These are all good things, and they do reflect God’s character and His nature. Yet, it comes to me, even the Holy Spirit seems to be an early riser, that there is something additional on display in the words and the actions in which Jesus engages here.

For a brief moment, short and transitory as it is, Jesus commands nature to return to God’s creation design intent. The natural world was constructed as a peaceful place where everything functioned perfectly and wherein the elements such as wind, water, fire, and rain were to be productive and supportive of the thriving of all of life. All of this, every aspect of nature, has been damaged and disturbed by the effects of sin. Those disobedient and rebellious acts that the first people chose to do have had a profound impact on the way that this world operates, and none of that is for the good. So, on that day and in that boat upon the sea, Jesus took back a piece of this world from Satan’s evil grip, and He set it right for the benefit of a few people and as an example of something much bigger by way of future promise and also in the form of setting out a part of His call and commission for His followers.

There is no question that God has promised that there will come a time when Jesus will again walk upon this earth. This will be a point in history when all of creation will be restored to the glory of God’s design. There will no longer be any grief and death, and all of the universe will exist in a form of harmonious peace. This is God’s promise, and it establishes a form of hope for all of us as we follow Christ in this troubled world. Yet, Jesus seldom left things with future hope as His only teaching point. It seems to me that He also wants us to actively engage with the created world with redemption and restoration in mind. People continue to do real harm to the place where we dwell, and we do this with little regard for the gifts that God has given to us by way of the resources in the earth and seas or that are contained in the atmosphere that envelopes us. I believe that Christ desires for us to join Him in rebuking the corruption that sin has produced on and in nature. He also wants us to care for what He has given to us for the sake of our thriving. Until Jesus returns, we are, in fact, His hands and His voice to be used for promoting peace upon this earth, even peace in the natural world.

And Jesus awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be Still!” And the wind ceased and there was great calm.

Mark 4: 39

 

On some days it feels as if God is truly asleep. The waves of outrageous misbehavior are crashing onto the deck of your life and drowning is the surest thing on the horizon. Angry words and malicious thoughts are being hurled your way with the force of a hurricane. At the same time someone has set you out to sea in a very inadequate boat that was provided with a crew that is amateur at best. This is a very bad day, and it promises to get worse as it goes along. Yet, the journey that you are on does, in fact, have purpose. You know that God has set you on this particular course, for His hand has been visible in so much of what has transpired in your life to put you in this place at this time.

 

The experience of living has demonstrated in your own life what has also been depicted with great clarity in the lives of generations of people in God’s Word. God is faithful, and He goes with us through everything that comes our way in life. He has answers for all of it. There is no force of nature or certainly any force of man that is beyond God’s control or outside of His capability. However, we must realize that we are traveling in a danger zone. There are constant storm warnings posted for this life, and God does not attempt to stop all of the turmoil that evil stirs up from impacting this world or our lives. What He does say to us is, “Trust me. Rest in me. Know that I am here, and you are secure in and through it all.”

 

In that storm tossed boat on the Sea of Galilee, Jesus wasn’t asleep because He was indifferent to their situation. He was able to rest fully in His trust of the Father under all circumstances and in each moment of life. Christ asks us to do the same. Trusting in God doesn’t mean that I become complacent or fatalistic about what is happening in my world. I still keep handy that bucket for bailing out the water, and I make sure that the pumps are working before I set out to sea. Still, I can be certain that the storm will come, and the tortured waves will try to overwhelm me. Despite all of the chaos that is surrounding me in this time, I can hear the voice of my Lord, and He is speaking to my soul, “Peace, my beloved child. Be still and know that I am God.”

And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still! And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.

Mark 4: 39

 

Although this story sounds perfect for the Weather Channel as it is partially about mastery over nature, it is mostly a story centered on something else. This is about trusting God in those times when the winds are blowing with ferocity and there is no shelter to be found. The journey that Jesus and His men were on started out in the calm of the early evening; so, He curled up in the stern of the boat for a nap after the highly strenuous activity of that day of non-stop teaching. All was fine until the storm came up suddenly and the wind caused the waves to start cresting over the side rails of the boat.

 

Now life was getting serious in a big hurry. They were too far from shore to swim to safety if the boat were to capsize or sink, and the one of them who had demonstrated the gift of performing miracles was lost in sleep. So, the disciples awaken Jesus and plead with Him to do something. Then, Jesus says these few words, and the storm stops. End of story. What comes next? But that is not all there is, and the calming of the wind and the water is certainly not the end of this story. Jesus then questions His companions on their faith as they realize, finally, that Jesus is no ordinary man.

 

So, what about me, what about the life that we all live? I have not been in a small boat on a large lake in a very long time, but I do live in a world where strong winds come up without warning. The platform that creates security for my feet gets tossed about and overturned with some regularity. This life is unpredictable, and many of the surprises turn out to be hard to handle and harshly painful. Yet, for those of us who know Jesus, He is there in the boat with us. He is not distant, and His care is not removed from our situation. We can pour out the fears and the anguish of our hearts to Christ, and He hears the needs of our souls and answers with the faithful truth and comfort that comes from the Father. Storms are real, fear is natural, and pain is too common in our fallen world; yet, in all of this, Jesus is with us. He knows what we are enduring, and He provides the comfort of His infinite grace and love to calm life’s seas.

And Jesus awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be Still!” And the wind ceased and there was great calm.

Mark 4: 39

 

On some days it feels as if God is truly asleep. The waves of outrageous misbehavior are crashing onto the deck of your life and drowning is the surest thing on the horizon. Angry words and malicious thoughts are being hurled your way with the force of a hurricane. At the same time someone has set you out to sea in a very inadequate boat that was provided with a crew that is amateur at best. This is a very bad day, and it promises to get worse as it goes along. Yet, the journey that you are on does, in fact, have purpose. You know that God has set you on this particular course, for His hand has been visible in so much of what has transpired in your life to put you in this place at this time.

 

The experience of living has demonstrated in your own life what has also been depicted with great clarity in the lives of generations of people in God’s Word. God is faithful, and He goes with us through everything that comes our way in life. He has answers for all of it, no matter what form or who that particular it might be. There is no force of nature or certainly any force of man that is beyond God’s control or outside of His capability. However, we must realize that we are traveling in a danger zone. There are constant storm warnings posted for this life, and God does not attempt to stop all of the turmoil that evil stirs up from impacting this world or our lives. What He does say to us is, “Trust me. Rest in me. Know that I am here, and you are secure in and through it all.”

 

In that storm tossed boat on the Sea of Galilee, Jesus wasn’t asleep because He was indifferent to their situation. He was able to rest fully in His trust of the Father under all circumstances and in each moment of life. Christ asks us to do the same. Trusting in God doesn’t mean that I become complacent or fatalistic about what is happening in my world. I still keep handy that bucket for bailing out the water, and I make sure that the pumps are working before I set out to sea. Still, I can be certain that the storm will come, and the tortured waves will try to overwhelm me. Despite all of the chaos that is surrounding me in this time, I can hear the voice of my Lord, and He is speaking to my soul, “Peace, my beloved child. Be still and know that I am God.”