“And He arose and rebuked the wind and said unto the sea, ‘Peace, be still.’ And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. And He said unto them, ‘Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith’?”
Regardless of the reason for its emergence, the “secret of serenity” is remembering Who’s in the boat with us.
So often we see this as the accumulation of Biblical facts, theological truths, doctrinal creeds, etc. But, today’s Manna reminds us that it’s simply trust—childlike trust—in “Who God is and what He has promised” (Heb. 11:6).
There’s no doubt the disciples were afraid that night as the thundering waves crashed against their tiny boat, threatening to swamp them and send them down to Davy Jones’ Locker. Several of them were seasoned fishermen, who’d braved many a turbulent time on the Sea of Galilee. They knew how quickly the cooler winds from the towering mountains on nearby shores could swoop down and clash with the warmer, heavier air that lingered over the water, resulting in violent storms.
Yet, here they were. . .hanging on for dear life. . .before awakening their slumbering Master and crying “Master, do you care not that we are about to die?!?” (v.38b).
What a horrible question to ask your Lord! How this must have grieved His heart!
If only they’d taken note of HIS reaction to the storm and followed His example (v.38a).
But, let’s face it:
So many of our fears are irrational. Instead of keeping our eyes on Jesus, we spend more time, like Peter, looking at the winds and the waves and begin to sink fast (Mt. 14:30a). Thankfully, he knew what to do—crying “Lord, save me!” (v.30b)—and thankfully the Lord “stretched forth His Hand and caught him” (v.31a).
And, it was in that “teachable moment” that He asked Peter the same question He asked the disciples in today’s Manna: “O you, of little faith, why did you doubt?” (v.31b).
We know the answer, don’t we? Simply because of our unbelief. Focusing upon the problem rather than the Presence. Letting our fears gain control instead of keeping Faith at the helm.
Never forget that faith is simply that which keeps us tethered to the Master even as a surfer’s ankle-strap keeps him attached to his surfboard. He knows there are times when we’ll say “The Lord is my Light and my Salvation; whom shall I fear. The Lord is the Strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid” (Ps. 27:1) and other times we’ll live as “those who have no hope” (I Thess. 4:13b).
It’s in those times that we must say “What times I am afraid, I’ll trust in the Lord” (Ps. 56:3). And, hopefully, in those times we’ll hear the Savior’s Voice, saying “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me” (Jn. 14:1). Remember, dear Pilgrim: “The Lord hasn’t given us a spirit of fear—but of love, power and a sound mind” (II Tim. 1:7). So, do not fear today. Jesus is near. And, He’ll calm your storms as you trust Him.
June 13, 2011