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Peace Be Still

Discipled to Disciple

But He said to them, "Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?" - Mark 4:40

It all started with a boat trip across the lake, seasoned fisherman taking their own boat with Jesus along for the ride. No doubt their confidence was high. They may have been thinking that Jesus would be impressed with their boating and navigating skills. Even though Jesus had initiated the journey, the disciples were decidedly “in charge.”

Everything changed quickly. While the disciples had surely weathered many storms on the lake, this one was different, more violent and deadly. The winds whipped the waves up to the point that the boat was in danger of being broken apart or, at the very least, swamped and sunk. Suddenly the confident sailors were turned into mere men fearful of drowning in the storm.

Then we see Jesus. Even as the boat is filling with water, He is asleep on a cushion in the back of the boat. How could He sleep through the howling winds and raging waters? The only answer is that the quality of sleep depends on the quality of life. Jesus had learned to trust His Father for everything. He literally had no fear. Whatever cares He had felt in His humanity, He entrusted into His Father’s loving hands. He slept because He was perfectly at peace, no matter what was going on around Him.

Not so the disciples. They were scared to death. They woke Jesus and said to Him: “Teacher do You not care that we are perishing?” That is another way of saying: “If you cared, you wouldn’t be sleeping through this time of great danger.” At this point we don’t know what they expected Him to do…but, to them, sleeping was not an option.

I wonder how often we think of God in this way. We find ourselves “perishing.” Things that were in perfect order have suddenly gone out of control. We wonder where Jesus is in all of this. Does He care; is He aware? Is He asleep in the back of the boat? We forget as the Psalmist reminds: “Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep” (Psalm 121:4). It may appear that He is inattentive or that He does not care, but that is never the case!

Wouldn’t it have been great if the disciples had stopped in the middle of everything and realized that they were with Jesus and even asleep He would not let anything happen that would alter the Father’s plan for their lives. God would protect Him and them in keeping with His purpose and His love for them. He would honor the words of His Son who had already said, “let us cross over to the other side.” They would have had perfect peace because they were trusting in the God who really did love them and had the power to protect them through life’s worst storms.

Peace is directly related to faith. It is the product of trusting God with everything about our lives. Even when circumstances argue against His love, it is still there. He always knows and supplies what is best even when we would choose otherwise. We may question His ability or His wisdom but our questions do not alter the reality of His infinite wisdom and power. May we learn from the mistakes of the twelve how to have a steadfast faith no matter how hard or suddenly the storms may come.

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