Mark 4: 36 – 41 (KJV) And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?
As a child, I adored all storms: thunderstorms, blizzards, wind, rain and hail. The wilder the weather, the more excited I would become. My parents place bolt locks high up on the screen doors to keep me inside as I’d try to escape, longing to be one with the elements. There is still much of that child within me, I must admit. A thunderstorm will find me with my nose plastered against my window as I watch lightning shoot across the sky. Walking against the wind with my cane is a challenge but it’s a challenge I embrace. I’ve been known on occasion to head out in the middle of a snow storm to fetch a litre of milk.
However, even I have my limits. In July of 1987, I witnessed the destructive and terrifying power of a tornado that blew through my city. Several lives were lost and dozens of people were severely injured. Businesses and homes were lost and it was a miracle that the oil refineries that flank the eastern border of the city were not damaged. Several of my friends barely escaped with their lives as the storm hit during afternoon rush hour.
As the storm raged on, I huddled in a windowless room in the basement of a sturdy house. The thrills that went up and down my spine were not ones of exhilaration. I was terrified! Tornadoes are extremely rare this far north and there was nothing familiar in the alien skies. The sudden, fierce winds and strange cloud formations had never been seen before in my city; I was ill prepared and helpless.
Without warning, chaos hits our families, our work places and our community. Unemployment hits, ‘good’ kids are in trouble with the law, a severe illness or sudden death strikes. Domestic acts of terrorism bring home the horrors of war. Heart-breaking truths coming to the light; hidden sin is exposed, threatening to tear a church apart. We are caught in the vortex; tossed like rag dolls, bruised and tattered by the emotional debris that threatens to rip our heart.
What can one do when faced with such calamity? As Christ-followers, we have a safe refuge, as children of the Lord of the heavens, we are able to cry out for his mercy, grace and strength. He is the who calmed the sea, he is the one who commanded order from chaos (Gen 1:2). We do not need to tarry in fear, for we live on the other side of cross. The cross is the constant assurance of His great love and provision for us. He will calm the seas in our lives; he will bring the emotional chaos to a place of peace. Although the physical storms of our lives may still rage around us, we can be at peace in the eye of the storm, safe from harm as we keep our eyes fixed on the Lord of all creation.
Lord Jesus, we cry out. “Calm the waters of our hearts; keep us within your peace as the circumstances of our world rage against us. We trust you; we know that you are our redeemer, our Saviour and our strong tower in times of trouble. We will obey you, when you give us the directive. “Peace, be still.”
Until Next Week,
© 2012 Katherine Walden