Peace, Be Still
Mark 4:39. “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.”
We’re all in the same boat, you might say. In many ways it resembles the boat occupied by the disciples when this event took place.
At the beginning of this narrative Jesus extends a rather interesting invitation. Mark 4:35 says, “Let us pass over unto the other side.” As I read this, it occurred to me that this is exactly what we’re doing here in life’s little voyage, is it not. We’re passing over to the other side! Indeed we’re in the boat, are we not? All of us are on this voyage! We’re passing over from “death” into “life”, from the finite into infinity.
We observe the approach to this of the disciples when the tempest arose. They are panicking. And then there was Jesus’ approach: He’s in the stern, asleep on a pillow! They awaken Him in the midst of this fierce gale, with accusations. “Master, carest Thou not that we perish?”
Naturally focused on their fear of a foreseeable future, they approach Him. He awakens, rebukes the wind, and commands the sea, “Peace, be still.” He is not angry with His disciples for awakening Him, but chides them for their lack of faith and their fear.
It seems like a hard lesson, but is there something in it which the Prince of Peace wishes us to see, as we pass over unto the other side?
Fear often focuses on a worst case scenario for the future. Fear is not an orientation in the present. Jesus, being very much in command and at rest at the back of the boat on a pillow, puts us in mind of Psalm 4:4 – the invitation to be at rest while communing with God upon our beds, and to be still. Even in this.
The One Who was able to be still in the midst of the gale was also able to command the winds and the sea to also be still! This would require a realization that we are not separate from God’s Presence and Peace – that He is always available to us as we simply choose to be there in Jesus.
There are plenty of “storms” especially at this time of year, seemingly demanding our attention and focus. The weather is only one of them. But in coming into our Father’s almighty Presence as one in Jesus, who is quietly resting on His pillow, we do so in both confidence and quiet and in full assurance that this “crossing over” is going to have the very best of outcomes – according to His good, gracious, and perfect will for us.
It is in this attitude that we welcome the Prince of Peace, the Word made flesh Who dwells among us, and we behold His glory, as we pray, “O come, O come, Emmanuel!”