Peace! Be Still!

Posted on August 23, 2023

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Peace! Be Still!

About four years ago now, when the world was in chaos because of Covid, I would take long walks in Kishwauketoe.

Despite what was happening in the world around me I always felt such peace and calm as I walked the paths of Kishwauketoe.

I felt as if the Holy Spirit was whispering to me:  “Peace! Be still.”

Creation can have a very calming effect on us but, and often we do not think about this, creation can also be very destructive.

From wild fires to hurricanes to tornadoes to storms – creation can cause a lot of damage and can even kill.

A great windstorm arose.

The waves beat into the boat.

The boat is swamped with water.

But Jesus is sleeping.

He seems to not have a care in the world.

Calmly, quietly, sleeping.

And this greatly angers his disciples.

“Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing.”

First, are they truly perishing here?

Have you noticed how in the Bible the disciples love to exaggerate their situation to Jesus.

Afterall, Jesus is sleeping in the boat.

If Jesus can get a nice little rest in – is the storm really that bad?

Maybe it is but maybe it is not.

But whether it is a terrible storm or simply a typical storm on the sea, the disciples do not have a lot faith here.

Do they not know Psalm 107: 29 which reads:  “You stilled the storm to a whisper and silenced the waves of the sea.”

God has the power to upset the waters and God has the power to calm the waters and here Jesus calms the waters.

He rebukes the wind and then he says to the sea:

“Peace! Be still!”

Instantly the winds cease and there is a dead calm.

After Jesus calms the storm, he has a talk with his disciples.

In a similar way that he rebukes the wind he rebukes his disciples.

“Why are you afraid?  Have you still no faith?”

As hard as it can be, at times, Jesus teaches us once again to be persistent in our faith even when we are afraid and it seems as if our lives are out of control.

Remember in the Bible water is often seen as a metaphor for chaos and destruction.

Water can be calm and peaceful but water can also be very harmful and even deadly.

But as we hear from today’s Psalm and see in Jesus that God has power over creation and over the powers of the sea.

And more than that God has power over the things that are destructive in the world and in our own lives.

Jesus asks us to have the faith to believe that God is more powerful than the destructive forces at work in the world.

Jesus wants us to have the faith to believe that he can calm the storms of our lives.

And after he calms the storm, he gives us what we need the most – he gives us his peace.

Peace with ourselves, peace with our neighbors, and peace with God.

And so, this morning where do you need Jesus’ peace?

Is there some problem that you are working through right now.

This problem is causing you to lose sleep and to feel anxious all day long.

Today do you need to give this problem to Jesus so that you can feel his peace?

Is there some struggle right now in your life?

And because of this struggle you cannot feel Jesus’ peace?

Are you able to take steps even now to find healing so that you can know, once again, Jesus’ peace.

In life the chaotic waters will threaten to swamp our lives and sink us.

At some point all of us go through seasons in our lives where we need Jesus.

At those times we need to say to him:

“Lord, do you not care that I am perishing.”

This is a prayer that is OK to pray.

Sometimes I think we might feel like we cannot be that honest with God.

But we can.

I have certainly prayed prayers like that in my life.

It is OK to come to Jesus in prayer feeling desperate like the disciples in the swamped boat.

But what is important for me to add here is this:

Can we be that honest with Jesus and then in the same prayer have the faith to believe that he can and will calm the storms.

Can we accompany these honest prayers to Jesus with prayers of faith?

Jesus might be on his time.

Or he might answer our prayers immediately but do it in a very surprising way.

He might answer our prayer in a way that we would not expect him to answer it, but he will say to all the storms:

“Peace! Be still!”

May we have the faith to believe that he can calm the storms.

And may we be filled with great awe at the power of Jesus who can even command the wind and the sea.

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