On Your Mark
He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet!
Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. (Mark 4:39, NIV)
David cried plaintively, “May God arise, may his enemies be
scattered” (Psalm 68:1).
It’s certainly what we cry when we want our circumstances
changed — “Arise, O Lord. Can’t You do something about my situation?”
In the Gospel story of the storm at sea, the disciples cry
out and the Lord does arise. He got up. The urgent shaking and pleading of the
disciples to “wake up” stirred Him from His slumber.
“We’re swamped,” they said.
Isn’t that how you feel on occasion? God is sleeping, and
you are screaming!
The eternal and universal lesson, however, is that He always
hears. He always gets up — although sometimes we are disappointed by His
inaction, or surprised at His action.
The disciples are surprised. It’s completely logical to
believe that all they wanted was for Jesus to help them in bailing water out of
the boat. They had never seen Him calm a storm, so I doubt their faith had
grown mature enough to think that if He could heal a paralytic then He could
also calm a storm.
If ever a miracle showed Jesus as Creator, this one
certainly qualifies. He who spoke the universe into existence commands the
elements with His voice. I cannot get my own dog to obey me — let alone
wind and waves. But there is a receptor in nature that knows and responds to
the voice of the Master.
No storm lasts forever, and no storm blows at the same time
over all the earth. All storms are limited both by geography and duration. But
when they come it’s with ferocity and surprise.
Our problem is that we don’t feel we can outlast our own
localized storm, whether it’s illness, abandonment, financial reverses, loss of
a job or a friend, or the death of a loved one. That’s surely how the disciples
felt as well as those in the other boats nearby — they would perish
before the storm ended.
On a normal night, conversation could flow freely across the
water boat to boat. But not in a storm. That’s life. On calm days relationship
flows freely, and we stay in easy communication with those around us. Yet, in
storms, the words blow back in our faces, and we feel so alone that it seems
useless to even try to communicate. The fury of the moment deafens all speech
Jesus speaks. The winds and waves cease. The older
translations put it better, “Peace, be still!”
Would that all storms in life ended as quickly! But, they
don’t. Look at another storm, one of hurricane force that raged for two weeks.
It’s recorded in Acts 27. In the end, the ship wrecks and casts the apostle
Paul onto the beach. Why is one storm quieted and not another? This side of
heaven, we may never figure out the answer.
But the Lord can give us peace from the storm, or peace in
You can have your Savior’s peace no matter what the
circumstance. The apostle Paul, writing from prison to the Philippians, assures
us that peace is available at all times: “And the peace of God, which
transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ
A prayer of response
Help me, Lord Jesus, to know deeply within me the truth that my soul can be still because You are on my side, that I can trust fully in You. There is no storm that outlasts You, and You will either make my storm subside or carry me safely through it.
GEORGE O. WOOD is general superintendent of the Assemblies
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