A Different Kind of Peace
That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” Mark 4:35-41
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14: 27
Jesus fell asleep. One of the most human things He could do. He was tired. Crowds had surrounded Him all day, wanting to hear Him teach and hoping to see a miracle. When He got into the boat with His disciples that evening, the time was His first break to rest and potentially recuperate from the long day, and so He did. Then the storm came. The disciples, however, grew terrified by this “furious squall.” What a storm it must have been if even Peter and his brother Andrew, both professional fishermen accustomed to shifting weather at sea, were scared. But Jesus slept. How tired He must have been.
In His slumber, Jesus demonstrates knowledge of something the disciples did not yet know. In the midst of the storm, He could still rest because He knew God would protect Him and carry Him through. Jesus displays in this moment an other-worldly peace, a faith-filled peace, a sustaining peace, a heavenly peace, one without the haunting of anxiety and fear.
Near the end of His time on earth while eating his last meal with His disciples, Jesus tells these same men, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give as the world gives…” (John 14:27). The world says peace comes only after a trial is over when all has been righted again (if it ever is). The best hope the world can offer in the midst of a storm might be the temporary peace of a loving embrace or an encouraging word from a friend. While these are significant moments of relief, we must remember that Jesus offers us peace that is not of this world. We may not fully understand it, and we may struggle to accept it. Nevertheless, Jesus does offer this same peace through the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Often times God will take us out of a difficult circumstance, remove a temptation, heal an illness, or protect us from harm just as he calmed the storm for His disciples. When we are not shielded, however, we are not left alone. In these times, in the midst of our storm, we can trust who God is and the promise of peace that He offers us in His Word. We may not have answers for why the storm has come, but Jesus will rest with us in the bottom of the boat while the storm passes by.
Today’s Prayer: Lord, help us today to trust You with whatever circumstances we may face. When the storms do come, give us Your peace and Your rest in the midst of them. Help us to turn over our worrying minds and hearts to you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.