There were dark clouds looming over the distant hills, and a quickening wind that rippled the lake. The calm conditions were quickly changing. He knew a storm was coming, yet He said to His friends, “Let’s get in a boat and go across to the other side of the lake.”
And so they did, because He knew that across the water there were people who desperately needed healing.
As the group set sail, the wind whipped with destructive force, and the waves foamed and slapped against the wooden boat. Despite this, Jesus fell asleep. He didn’t need perfect conditions to rest deeply, rather He found inner peace in the midst of a tempest.
He chose faith over fear.
On dry land, the disciples had been so confident as they listened to the Teacher unveil the mysteries of God’s Kingdom. They had clung to His words. But that was back on the shore, back when they were safe. Now they were vulnerable—rocking to and fro on open waters.
“Who’s blasted idea was this?” They yelled to one another in the chaos, as they bucketed out water, and pulled on rope, straining to keep the sail from ripping off. They were going down, and to top it off the One who led them into this storm was snoring in the hull and no help at all.
Fear forgets reason. Fear chokes out faith. In that moment of uncertainty, the disciples doubted the most important truth of all: that God loved them enough to care about their circumstance.
Instead, they shook Jesus awake, and screamed:
“Master, Master, we’re sinking! Don’t you care that we’re going to drown?”
With great authority Jesus rebuked the howling wind and surging waves, and instantly they stopped and became smooth as glass.
Jesus said to them, “Why are you fearful?” Have you lost your faith in me?”
(Luke chapter 8, verses 24 and 25)
Nothing to fear
Jesus rose with great authority in answer to His friends’ plea. But how hurt He must have been that they had lost faith in Him to rescue them. His ability to act in their situation was not determined by their belief, but by His compassion. At His command, the whining wind became a gentle whisper and the lake became like a mirror. The storm suddenly stopped, and all was calm. There was nothing to fear.
In the Voyage of the Dawn Treader C.S. Lewis describes a similar nautical scene: the crew’s ship is trapped in darkness, the company are rowing hard, but they begin to doubt they will ever get out of their dire situation.
Then a voice whispers: “‘Courage, dear heart’… In a few moments the darkness turned into a greyness ahead, and then, almost before they dared to begin hoping, they had shot out into the sunlight and were in the warm, blue world again. And all at once everybody realised that there was nothing to be afraid of and never had been.”
There is a choice
Every day we have a choice. We can wake-up and choose to rise in fear, or in faith.
Fear listens to the reports that rock the world and predict the worst. Faith listens to God’s Word and chooses to believe for God’s best. Fear is rattled by the wind and waves, but faith cultivates deep peace in spite of them. Fear sinks ships, but faith rises in the authority that calms storms. Fear forgets the power of prayer, but faith remembers prayer connects us to heaven—back to our source—and brings God’s power to earth.
Now is the time to be intentional, to be prayerful, to be aware that we have a Saviour onboard our ship.
We may be in uncharted waters, but we’re not alone. There’s still work to be done on the other side of this unsettled lake—there are lives to reach and hearts to heal—so let’s have courage to cross over waves of unrest.
God is waiting for those who hear the global threats but choose to pray:
“O Lord, hear their threats, and give us, Your servants, great boldness in preaching your Word. Stretch out Your hand with healing power; may miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of Your holy servant Jesus.” (Acts chapter 4, verse 31)
There are waters yet to be calmed by your testimony, there are oceans yet to be crossed by the boldness of your prayers, there are dark clouds yet to be parted by the steady light that lives within you. There are multitudes of people longing for you to speak a word of faith instead of fear.
Jesus sees the clouds darkening the horizon, He feels the quickening wind, He knows the conditions are changing and they’re not perfect, but He’s brought you through so much already to get you to this point. When the world is in chaos, you are prepared for such a time as this. Because you’ve learnt to say:
“Who then is this, that He commands even wind and sea, and they obey Him?”
(Luke chapter 8, verse 25)
Amy is a Press Services International Columnist from Adelaide. She has a BA in Creative Writing and Screen & Media, and now works as a freelance photographer, videographer and writer. She was runner-up in the 2018 Basil Sellars Award. Her previous articles can be viewed here: http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/amy-manners.html