“And a great storm of wind arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care if we perish?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” (Mark 4:37-39 RSV)
“A winter storm watch is in effect from midnight until noon.” The weather channel posts pictures and updates by the hours and even minutes. The drama and hype sends us scurrying to the store for a food supply that will last a month. In reality, we may be lucky to get a light dusting. While southerners aren’t equipped to brace for snow pileups, we act as if the end of the world is coming. My husband I wake and peer out the window during the night. We are on the alert. Many fear the storm and act like crazy madmen at even the slightest hint of inclement weather.
I’m reminded of the disciples who had an eye on the storm and panicked. With Jesus in the boat beside them, they still were gripped by fear. They’d witnessed His many miracles (heal the sick, cast out demons) before the weather began to rage. So why would a storm frighten them? Simple truth – their eyes were on the storm, not the One who could change it.
I can’t fault the disciples. My eyes focus on storm clouds and fear arises. Not talking weather here folks. I become anxious when a loved one ignores me, when my husband’s job appears to be in jeopardy, when a child starts drifting, when temporal circumstances start vanishing or wreaking havoc. I’ve shared many Peter experiences, jumping out of the boat in faith only to turn my eyes on the storm. How quick I’ve been to forget the Master’s faithfulness, His steady grip on me, and the accuracy of His Word to supply all my needs.
Do we all need to be alert? 1 Peter 5:8 warns, “Be serious! Be alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour.” (Holman) However, alertness and anxiety make poor traveling companions. Stay attuned to watches and warnings. But keep your eyes on Jesus. Only He can bring the calm.
*photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net ID 10028842