Gabriel's Horn, Pastor George Weaver, September, 2013

posted Sep 3, 2013, 5:57 PM by Lois Kerchner   [ updated Sep 4, 2013, 6:32 AM ]

Stilling the Storm

 

[Jesus] got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Mark 4:39

In ancient times the sea was viewed as the place of chaos and evil forces. Crossing the open water was considered dangerous because of a lack of navigation and communication devices and poor ship and boat construction. Unexpected and chaotic storms often led to tragedy.

 

Mark 4:35-41 tells about a boat ride that went terribly wrong. A furious squall came out of nowhere, and terrific waves broke over the boat, nearly swamping it. The disciples of Jesus (some of whom were experienced fishermen) were desperately afraid. And all this time Jesus was sleeping! Not knowing what else to do, they woke Jesus from his rest, virtually accusing him of their fate. Immediately, the Lord Jesus rebuked the storm, commanding it to be silent. The wind ceased, and a great calm followed.

 

This biblical account gives us a picture of Jesus as a miracle worker. But, even more, he is Lord over the forces of nature. That’s why the storm obeys him. Furthermore, we discover Jesus’ special love and care for his followers. His answer to the disciples’ (as well as our own) urgent inquiry in difficult times is “I do care about you! Now put all your trust in me, and don’t be afraid."

 

The familiar hymn “Be Still, My Soul,” sung to the tune Finlandia, picks up this theme in the last part of the 2nd stanza: “Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know the Christ who ruled them while he dwelt below.”

 

The words of this hymn by Katharina von Schlegel, an influential 18th century German pietist, go on as follows: “The hour is hastening on when we shall be forever with the Lord, when disappointment, grief, and fear are gone, sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored. Be still, my soul, when change and tears are past, all safe and blessed we shall meet at last.”

 

“Be Still, My Soul” is thought to have been inspired, at least in part, from Psalm 46:10-11: “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! The Lord of Hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.”

Pray that God in Christ will strengthen our faith to recognize in him a reliable care-taker and protector who takes away our fear. May Christ fill us with awe over his power and amazing grace to still all our storms.

 

George Weaver, Pastor of Maturing Ministries

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