Imagine you are sitting by the side of the Sea of Galilee…it is a beautiful still evening and the waves are gently lapping the shore.
Jesus arrives with his disciples. He has been preaching all day and is exhausted and needs peace and quiet away from the crowds.
The sun is beginning to set. Jesus says, “Let’s get in a boat and go over to the other side of the lake.” You get in with Jesus and His disciples. You move away from the shore. The wind is still. The boat rocks back and forth gently in the waves. Jesus lays down on a cushion. The waves lap lightly against the side of the boat, lulling Jesus into a peaceful sleep. You talk in whispers with the disciples. They tell you about the extraordinary things Jesus has done that day. You are pondering. Could these things be true? All is calm. You doze a little.
Suddenly you look on the horizon. You see gigantic clouds. The wind is whipping up the waves. They aren’t so gentle now. Wave after furious wave. Enormous mountains of water. The little boat begins to pitch and rock.
The disciples get anxious. Jesus still lies sleeping. The wind gets stronger still. The waves cascade water into the boat. The disciples are drenched. This is getting to be a bad storm! Jesus still lies sleeping. The fishing boat reaches the centre of the lake, the wind has turned into an angry gale that whips the waves so high they wash right over the boat. The disciples are terrified. They are shaking and quivering. They cling to the mast. Jesus still lies sleeping.
Finally, someone goes and shakes Jesus. “Master,” he cries, “don’t you care if we drown?” Jesus looks around. He listens to the howling wind. He can feel the cold, stinging spray as waves crash over the little boat. He sees his terrified disciples. Then Jesus stands, stretches out his arms to the wind and the waves, and says: “Peace! Be still!” And oh my goodness the most amazing thing happens. The wind is still, the waves became completely calm. The disciples are like jelly…they peer up from the bottom of the boat. They are awe struck: Jesus says “Why are you so afraid? Where is your faith?”
You sit quietly as the boat rocks back and forth gently in the water. “Who is this man? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
Jesus showed his power over the wind and the waves that day on the Sea of Galilee. Just as he cared for his disciples in that little storm-tossed boat, he cares for us.
Sometimes he cares for us by calming the storms we face in our lives. Sometimes he cares for us by calming us in the storms.