In ancient times there was a common fear of the sea. Those who made their living on the waters were especially fearful of the stormy seas at night. Dark water represented the unknown. Dark stormy waters meant chaos. When Jesus had the disciples set out on the Sea of Galilee at night, he had them do something out of the ordinary; set out on the sea at night in order to cross the deep dark water to the other side.
In the midst of their journey, a violent storm blew up. Suddenly, the disciples found themselves in a very bad situation, sailing upon a dark stormy sea surrounded by chaos. It is little wonder they became terrified. Worse yet, as the storm was raging and the waves beat against their small boat, Jesus was asleep in the stern. Certainly, if we found ourselves there in the boat with the twelve our reaction might be the same as theirs. “How can you sleep? Don’t you care that we are about to die?” Imagine saying something to that effect to Jesus, “don’t you care?” But if you think about it, in so many words or less we have all asked this question of God at some point in our life.
We all have our own storms; we all experience our own version of chaos. When things seem uncertain because of sickness, job loss, divorce or the death of a loved one, everything is different. Suddenly we become fearful of the unknown. Chaos raises its ugly head. Our earthly journey is often interrupted by sudden squalls welling up from out of the darkness. It isn’t long before we encounter the wind and waves.
Sudden life changes brought about by trouble and fear are real storms in the lives of real people. Each one brings with it a measure of uncertainty, anxiety and fear. When things are well, the waters of our lives are just as beautiful as the waters of the oceans, just as inviting as the waters of cool mountain streams. Yet they remain as deep and dark as the broken world within which we live. Sometimes, we get lost in the chaos. Sometimes we are so agitated we begin to question God and his motives. Why me God? Why now? Don’t you care? We all face such storms. We all experience chaos in our lives. Even in our darkest hours, we dare call out to God wondering if he is indeed listening. It is in these instances we must rely on our faith, looking to Christ Jesus and realizing he is God.
Jesus is the author of all life. He is the one who is, was and will be. Jesus is the Messiah who saves God’s people from sin, the one who takes his followers into his loving embrace and promises eternal life to all who believe. Yes, when overcome by fear, we may experience times of doubt. We may wonder if Jesus really cares about our life and whether we live or die. Yet, forever and always Jesus is the one who has power to face the wind and waves of our struggle and say “Peace, be still; know that I am God.”