“When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Silence! Be still!’ Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm.” – Mark 4:39 (NLT)
I’m always intrigued when my kids can sleep through a really loud thunder storm. I can hardly hear myself think and there they are, snoozing away. But just think if you were in a fishing boat on a body of water somewhere and a storm kicked up. In the midst of the storm, while people are yelling to one another and making moves to guide and secure the ship, there’s a guy totally conked out in the last row. I'm pretty sure I'd be yelling, “Hey, guy! HOW are you sleeping right now? Get up and help us before we all drown!”
This is pretty much how the disciples acted when they found themselves out in the middle of the water in the midst of a storm with Jesus who was sleeping in the back of the boat. They yelled to him, “Wake up! Don’t you care that we’re dying here?” (Mark 4:38) The scripture says Jesus woke up and immediately rebuked the wind and spoke to the waves. There are at least ten things to note about this passage of scripture, but I want to share two:
Jesus is giving us an example of how we should handle the storms of life. Some people live their lives always ready for the next challenge. They approach each day and situation with a sense of vigilance so they will be ready to counter any attack that is waged and control any circumstance that slips out of place. But Jesus slept in the storm. He could probably hear the chaos going on in the background of his dreams, but he still slept. I don’t know about you, but when I’ve been in a particularly stressful season of life I generally have some trouble falling and staying asleep. My mind wants to continually try to solve the problem so I can alleviate the stress. Jesus clearly doesn’t employ my stress reduction strategy. He doesn’t lose sleep to solve a problem. He trusts that his Father will speak a solution at just the right time and until then he rests in that trust. No matter what the world throws at us, we should aim for a level of trust in God that allows us to rest even in the midst of the storm.
Jesus spoke into the chaos and it became calm. He rebuked the wind and commanded the waves. Don’t get hung up on the fact that Jesus was the Son of God, supposing that things work differently for him than they do for you and me. The Bible says Jesus only said what he heard the Father saying. He took his lead on every word and action from the Father. We have the ability to do this, too, and we can have the same results when we do it in faith like Jesus did. Jesus said, “Peace. Be still.” The Greek word translated into “still” is phimoo and it means to muzzle. When we speak the word of God into a stormy situation, we can muzzle it just like Jesus did. When life becomes chaotic and the winds and the waves kick up, we only need to speak the word of God to muzzle it. The Word can still any storm.