The waves were crushing. Fear and despair had fallen over the hearts of the disciples… not of petty loss, but of an impending finale of their lives. They were experienced fishermen, and this was no wimpy wind, it was the real deal. And so all of us who have heard what happens next revel in the power just as the disciples did. Jesus spoke two words: “Be Still.” And it was so. The disciples were “terrified.” I imagine that’s the right response when observing a close-encounter with that kind of power (Mark 4).
I wonder if sometimes we read this story and we are drawn in to what happened a long time ago. And we so easily forget the winds and the waves — they still know his voice. They still obey his commands. They still surrender to the one who designed and created them. The God who molded waves and formed the waves also mapped out their boundaries. He authors, and creation surrenders to his penmanship — to their great benefit.
“Who is like you, LORD God Almighty? You, LORD, are mighty, and your faithfulness surrounds you. You rule over the surging sea; when its waves mount up, you still them.” — Psalm 89:8-9
Waves threaten to overcome. Waves challenge. Waves sweep in with indifference to our plans and without compassion to our state of strength. Waves drive us somewhere. So, in his love and wisdom, God reminds us of some things. That he sits enthroned over the waters (Psalm 29:10-11). And he addresses the issue of authority, of whom is sovereign over whom. Even when it feels like we are crushed under waves, blown by winds, or facing floods, he speaks and creation is compelled to listen.
“…he gave the sea its boundary so the water would not overstep his command, and when he marked out the foundations of the earth.” — Proverbs 8:29
Until the day when we live free from the ravages of evil, from the grip of grief, we need to know that God sees, that he redeems, that he commands and that when the terrible taunts us, he alone is capable of redemption. He alone is capable of taking hold of what is lifeless and making it lovely. Even when I don’t understand, I can surrender to the one who with but a breath with overthrow an enemy and bring us into the kind of forever life that we would prefer over a thousand elsewhere.
“God will allow evil only to the degree that it brings about the very opposite of what it intends.” — Timothy Keller
Today, take this minute and consider who God is. Speak it. Acknowledge it. And if nothing comes to mind, ask him to illuminate it for you. “God, who do you want me to see that you are?!” I believe that just as he calms storms and silences winds, he will silence the cacophony in your heart and make you able to hear his still small voice. The same voice that held authority all those years ago, is the one who delights in speaking to you now. The winds and the waves that surface in your world — they still know his voice. They still obey.