Last night around 2 AM, I was awakened by a nightmare. It felt so real, and it was of the worst variety. I stepped outside to get some air, and I noticed how dark the night was. Even with the street lights, there was a darkness permeating the atmosphere. In some ways I was awe-struck, in other ways I found it oppressive.
But it got me thinking about the story of Jesus calming the storm. I’ll enter the text below, in blue:
35 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” 36 And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39 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. 40 He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” 41 And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, s“Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
Sometimes, we get so used to these stories as “flannel graph” stories (who remembers those??)–stories that we’ve heard dozens of times, and yet we miss the depth to the actual words. I think this story is an example of this.
There is something both tremendously comforting and greatly scary at the same time, when one thinks of the winds and the waves obeying the voice of Jesus. We can even see this is the disciples response. Think about how relieved they were when they were saved from the storm, and then look at the end of the story when the expressed great fear over who Jesus was, that “even the wind and the sea obey him.” Me too. I find myself in the company of the bewildered apostles.
And yet, what more do we want in a Savior than to be able to put our trust in Him, such as He admonishes the disciples to do. ( “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?”) And yet we, too, could be asked the same question of our Jesus…..”Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?) At least, I know I could be asked that question, because I fear often, and I lack faith often. When will I learn?
Remarkable is the response of the sea and the wind. He quieted the storm. He caused the waves and the wind to stop with just a few words. They obeyed my Jesus. In essence, he told the winds and the wave “Shhhh. Be at peace. Be still. Be quiet.”
Jesus offers these same words to us. He tells me “Shhhh. Be at Peace. Be still. Be quiet.” Oh how I fight that, and yet oh how I long to hear him tell me “Shhh.”
Last night, after walking around outside at 2 AM, and thinking hard, I heard my Jesus tell me “shhh”. Not audibly, mind you, but in my soul. As my heart rate settled down, as I began to get chilly as the terrified sweat evaporated off of me into the night air, as I begged God for release from the nightmares that plague me, I knew that just as Jesus calmed the tempest of the storm, He is willing and able to calm the tempest of my mind and soul.
He says “Shhh” to me, “Peace be still”. Be still–a difficult thing to do. And yet when I am still, he grants me rest.
My Jesus says “Shhhh” to me. I need to to be obedient like the winds and the waves, and settle my soul with the help of my Savior and my God.