“The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!””
Peace that surpasses all understanding.
Peace, not as the world gives, but as He – Jesus – gives.
I believe every season in our lives necessitates a portion of peace distributed by the lovingkindness of Jesus. The world has found its multiple ways to cope with stress, pain, frustration and misgivings, but the Bible is clear…we receive peace from Jesus Christ.
Let’s read about an encounter the disciples had with Jesus that warranted a portion of His peace.
“Now when Jesus saw a crowd around Him, He gave orders to depart to the other side of the sea. Then a scribe came and said to Him, “Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.” Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” Another of the disciples said to Him, “Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.” But Jesus *said to him, “Follow Me, and allow the dead to bury their own dead.”
When He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being covered with the waves; but Jesus Himself was asleep. And they came to Him and woke Him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing!” He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm. The men were amazed, and said, “What kind of a man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?””
These seem to be two very different stories, but I think because the Holy Spirit positioned these stories together for very good reasons.
- Jesus told someone, who admittedly wanted to follow Him, “allow the dead to bury their own dead.” Let’s be honest, if Jesus told this to you when your parent, sibling or spouse died, you would be upset. Some of us have gotten upset at Jesus and our church members over less! And yet, in all His righteousness, Jesus gives us a great source of advice. Sisters, we have to stop chasing dead things. Jesus is life! If we want peace, we must allow dead, stale skeletons to be buried and remain buried. When we want to follow the Peacemaker (Jesus), we have to allow the dead parts of our lives – the hurt, the pain, the disappointment, the anger, the insecurities – to be buried in an emotional graveyard.
- The disciples followed Jesus into the boat He initiated getting into. BEHOLD, a great storm arose. Beloved sisters, there will be times when following Jesus will walk us right into a storm. Have you ever experienced it? Being faithful does not exempt you from the tumultuous misgivings life often brings. I know, sometimes someone preached a “safe life in Christ” to you, but the disciples learned that we are called to live a “saved” life through Christ. Being a Christian may cause us to live in unsafe circumstances and yet God sends a Savior for every storm.
- Notice how fearful the disciples were as the sea rose up over the boat! I understand their fear. I would have been afraid, too. Every time I read this story I think of the Titanic! Their fear was real, they thought they were dying, but Jesus slept through it all. I find that funny, a little tiny bit. Have you ever been at home and during the night a huge thunderstorm raged against the house? I experienced it and when I woke up, I could NOT believe everyone, except me, was sleep! I digress. Fresh off of a rebuke about the dead burying the dead, these disciples fear that they are in the process of dying. They aren’t though, they aren’t the dead that will bury the dead. They are very much alive; they are alive with an alive Savior in their midst. They’re not dying because they’ve been called on by the Source of life to LIVE. As were YOU!
- Jesus wakes up, rebuked the wind and creates an environment of peace. This is where we need to pause. When we call on the name of the Lord, miraculous things happen. The winds that whirl within our stomach will diminish when the voice of God announces “peace be still”. The New American Standard translation says “it was perfectly calm”. How many of us need the perfect calm of Jesus in our lives?
The fruit of the Spirit gives us life and it brings life to our surroundings. I have gone through such a difficult year. Emotionally, the devil tried to distract, destroy and impress such sadness on me! So today, I am so thankful for peace. I am thankful for it’s fruit in my life. I am thankful that God continues to multiply peace in my life as I follow Jesus from boat to boat and shore to shore.
I am praying for your peace today. I am praying for you to be strong in the name of Jesus. Call on Him and ask Him to calm the storms in your life, in your heart, in your family and on your job! He is able and He is willing! If the storms don’t calm immediately, do not lose faith. Everything is subjected to God, trust His timing. You may feel like you’re dying, but you are not dead; you are live in Christ. Jesus may seem like He’s sleeping on the job, but sisters, He is awake, alive and well!
Choose peace, today and let peace bear much fruit in your life.