Be Still

The sea rose, towering in threatening piles before crashing down upon the boat unleashing its fury and soaking the deck and its sailors. White walls of water hemmed them in, smothered them, trapped them. Seafoam carried by gusts of wind sprayed in unrelenting blasts, clouding their eyes with salt and storm. I’m sure they couldn’t see. I’m sure they couldn’t hear each other over the din. 

            Their senses must have been overcome. The smell of the sea and rain accosting them. The taste of saltwater drowning them. The feel of the wind and rain pelting them. The sound of their friends yelling for help, of themselves, yelling for help yet there was nothing their shouts could accomplish. Their words were feeble weapons against the raging squall. 

            Nothing could be done. Nothing could be said and fear overwhelmed the disciples but Jesus slept on in the hold. 

            “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” their voices called to him through the sheets of rain. And in silent reply, Jesus “Got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!’ Then the wind died and it was completely calm.” (Mark 4:38-39) 

            The cries of the disciples held no sway over the wind and waves but at the sound of Jesus’ voice, calm descended and peace rested upon the sea. 

            It’s no secret that, just like the disciples, there are things on this earth that are beyond our control. While we have subdued and mastered so many areas of life, humanity has yet to conquer everything. We are still powerless against so much, our authority only reaches so far, and then, the wilds of nature and sickness and death and time take the throne. 

            2020 has made this clearer than ever. We have watched as our lives have been pelted with storm after storm. The bad news and limitations and discouragement and fear have rained down upon us in unrelenting waves and it seems that our words and actions are powerless to overcome them. It seems that our words are feeble weapons against the squall. 

            But there is one who’s words are power themself. There is one who subdues the wind and the waves and the fear besides. 

            Mark 4 goes on. After Jesus calmed the storm, there is a striking set of questions asked, questions that deserve our attention. 

            “He said to his disciples, ‘Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?’ They were terrified and asked each other, ‘Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him?’” Mark 4: 40-41. 

            These questions are related. Jesus asked, “Why are you so afraid?” and the disciples asked, “Who is this?” 

            The answer to their fear was knowing who Jesus was. The answer to our fear is knowing who Jesus is. Knowing that He is the Prince of Peace. Knowing that he is the friend that sticks closer than a brother. Knowing that He is the one who has power over all that rages in our lives, all that torments, all that robs us of comfort and safety and joy. 

            That even the wind and the waves obey him and knowing that he will calm them for us.

            Fear overtakes us like a storm but the knowledge of who Jesus is and what he can do brings peace. 

            Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.” 

            The same words that Jesus spoke to the storm, he speaks to our hearts and it’s the knowledge of who he is that trades chaos for peace. 

            He is God. 

            So as the storms rage around you and as fear crashes against you, remember that there is one who stands above it all. That at the sound of his voice, chaos is banished, and storms quiet their torment. Remember that peace trails in his wake and rest is found in his presence. Remember that the answer to your fear and the key to quieting the storm is this; know who he is. Know him. Call out to him and just as he did on that boat, his answer will put things back to rights both within our hearts and our world. 

            While our voices are feeble weapons against all that assails us, the voice of Jesus is not. Be still. He is God.        

Originally posted on The Hope Denver Blog

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