Luke 8:22-25 – One day Jesus said to his disciples, "Let's cross to the other side of the lake." So they got into a boat and started out. As they sailed across, Jesus settled down for a nap. But soon a fierce storm came down on the lake. The boat was filling with water, and they were in real danger. The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, "Master, Master, we're going to drown!" When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and the raging waves. Suddenly the storm stopped and all was calm. Then he asked them, "Where is your faith?" The disciples were terrified and amazed. "Who is this man?" they asked each other. "When he gives a command, even the wind and waves obey him!" (NLT)
As a close-knit workgroup, we set out for a weekend camping trip to forge down the South Fork of the American River in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, southwest of Lake Tahoe near Sacramento, California, USA. The excitement was palpable as we prepared camp for what we had heard would be the thrill of a lifetime. Several group members expressed excitement with their thoughts of going over the whitewater caused by the fast-flowing rapids the following day. As we made our way to the drop-off spot, we could hear the sound of the roaring waves as they crashed down through the rocks of the river.
We wore bathing suits, tennis shoes, canvas brimmed hats, and life jackets, and we carried rafting paddles. As I took my place in the raft, I began to wonder if I had made the right decision by coming on this adventure. We were quickly onto the waves as we paddled our way through and over rock formations. As a first-time rafter, I found myself hanging on to the ropes which were attached to the side of the raft as we made it safely through the turbulent waves. At the end of the run, we landed in peaceful waters.
This experience led me to the story of the disciples finding themselves in turbulent waters: they were frightened when the boat they were in was about to be swamped in the Sea of Galilee. After the Master was awakened from His sleep, He spoke to the turmoil and all was once again calm. This reminds me of how our ever-present Lord will bring us through the turmoils of life to His peace, which is so clearly described in the hymn, Wonderful peace by Warren D. Cornell:
- I am resting tonight in this wonderful peace,
Resting sweetly in Jesus' control;
For I'm kept from all danger by night and by day,
And His glory is flooding my soul!
Peace, peace, wonderful peace,
Coming down from the Father above!
Sweep over my spirit forever, I pray,
In fathomless billows of love!
Are we burdened with the troubles and turmoil of our lives? Let us rest in His control; He will give us the calmness and strength to weather the storms of life — if we give Him control.
Prayer: Dear Lord, we come to You in our weakness to ask for Your strength. You have said, "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness." (2 Corinthians 12:9 NLT) Thank You for Your ever-present help in trial. We ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.