“But He said to them, ‘Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?’ Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. So the men marveled, saying, ‘Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?’” Matthew 8:26–27
We have an illustrated children’s Bible story book that tells the story of Jesus calming the sea. When they were little, I remember our children taking that book to their Papa, my father in law, and begging him to read it to them. How they loved the way he animated that story.
During he beginning of the story, when the seas were calm, he’d read the story rocking slowing back and forth, like a parent trying to rock a baby to sleep. But when he came to the part about the storm how they would laugh as his bass voice rolled like the thunder and he’d rock violently back forth and bounced them up and down. And then when Jesus said, “Peace be still,” he’d suddenly go back to quietly rocking back and forth, back and forth.
When the story was done they begged him to read it again and you could tell that their favorite part was when the storm was rocking and bouncing the boat.
I’ll confess that in real life I actually like storms. I like hearing the wind, the thunder and the driving rain. I think it’s spectacular to see a lightning storm. There’s just so much power and raw beauty in a storm.
But for most of us, when it comes to real life, storms aren’t our favorite part. When they’re on their way we pray that God will make them go away. And in those many times when they do come we pray that God will make them brief and keep them from become too strong. We’ve learned through difficult and painful experience that the winds, rains and lightning of storms can cause a great deal of damage and sometimes can even kill. And while I like storms, I too pray that God will protect people from the danger they can cause.
In the Bible story of the calming of the storm we’re told that the disciples were terrified that they were going to die. They’d done everything they could, but they couldn’t keep their boat from filling with water, they were fearful that they were going to capsize, and they couldn’t get to shore. They were becoming desperate in their fear and what was Jesus doing? He was sleeping.
So they woke him up and cried out, “Save us. We’re dying.”
Jesus’ reply was, “Why are you afraid? O you of little faith.”
It was like Jesus was saying, “Don’t you trust God to protect you in the storm? Don’t you believe that God knows exactly what’s best for you, the best blessings, the best trials, and even the best time to die? Don’t you believe that your Heavenly Father is only going to give you what’s best for you?”
Whether we’re fearful or not comes down to our trust in God. It takes most of us the better part of a life time to learn that depth of trust. But whether we’ve learned it or not God is worthy of that trust. He knows what’s best for us and he’ll always give us the best. Whether it’s times of peace or a storm.