Calming the Storms of our Lives

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By Bruce Menzies

The residents around the sea sat safely in their homes as darkness descended onto the shores of Galilee. Here, evening primrose would open in a swirl of radiant yellow, only to disappear after a few hours. Galilee is where the changing of the seasons from dry summer to wet winter trans-forms the color of plant beds: the glowing green of winter gives way to the incredible rainbow of spring and the golden dryness of summer.

But on this night, the sea-seasoned fishermen launched their twenty-seven-foot fishing boat into the dark waters at their leader’s request. Already fatigued from a busy day of teaching and healing the infirmed, Jesus thought he’d get a little shut-eye on the eight-mile voyage across Galilee. He deserved it. He wouldn’t get it.

That night, cool air from the surrounding hills dropped to the sea causing large temperature and pressure changes and when the contrasting air masses met, a storm arose quickly and without warning. Their small boat was in immediate danger.

Earlier in the evening Jesus has commanded, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake” (Lk 8:22), but now the winds seem to challenge the wis-dom of all that. The disciples wondered if they would actually make it. Maybe they would all die including Jesus. Then a disciple awakened the sleeping Savior with his challenge, “Master, carest thou not that we perish?” (Mk 4:38). “Jesus, we’re all going to die!”

Earlier Jesus had rebuked Peter’s mother-in-law’s fever, rebuked demons, and now rebuked the raging sea: “Peace, be still!” Only one rebuke re-mained. He turned to the crew and asked, “How is it that you have no faith?” (Mk 4:40).

When Jesus tells you to cross over to the other side, you will eventually arrive. He doesn’t promise storm-free passage, but he will ensure your arrival. Your greatest risk during storms is not the wind and waves, but your unbelief. You can trust the Savior. ●

Christ on the Sea of Galilee

Eugène Delacroix, (1854) • Oil on Canvas

23.5 x 28.8 • The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore