“Quiet! Be still!”
Those words from Christ did the job that day in the midst of the raging storm on the Sea of Galilee (Mark 4). Jesus was sleeping peacefully in the stern of the boat when his terrified disciples had disturbed his repose.
“Master,” even the seasoned seamen had opined, “don’t you care that we’re about to head to the bottom and drown?”
It certainly sounds as if the Lord was not particularly pleased at being roused. His question for the disciples: “Don’t you have any faith at all?” (The Message).
And to the wind and the waves, he casts a stern gaze, as if commanding an unruly child, “Enough! Be still!”
If Christ had been a supposedly enlightened modern parent, oblivious to the fact that a properly and lovingly administered spanking in the face of willful defiance is not even in the same universe as child abuse, and unaware that much closer to real abuse for parent, child, and everyone else unfortunate enough to be in the vicinity, is the common situation where the parent rarely expects to be obeyed, if at all, until the parents have “reasoned” the child, themselves, and everyone around them into a truly dangerous state of utter frustration and exhaustion . . . Well, I suspect the stormy sea would still be tossing and the awful wind still roaring, the boat long since at the bottom of the sea and all aboard drowned but thankful for finally finding some blessed relief.
But the elements argued not at all with their Creator. The storm was immediately stilled, and the disciples were immediately amazed: “Who is this? The wind and the sea at his beck and call!” (The Message).
For a couple of days this week I’ve been about as far away from the Sea of Galilee as it’s possible to be. The only body of water nearby is Spence Reservoir which in the last few years has managed to get from less than 1% “full” (which is pretty darn close to empty) to being now, I think, at a staggering 14% full (86% empty). A disciple, or anybody else, wanting to put a boat out on that lake today will find it a challenge, the forlorn boat docks bone dry and about a day’s journey from anything wet. I’m sure you could still drown in the lake, but you’d have to be pretty serious about it.
My brothers and I, spending a few days at my grandparents’ old home place in Robert Lee, Texas, have dealt this week with a rare but frustrating “stormy” situation. Dead dry but maddeningly constant and raging, crazily high winds have for two days just about blown us off the acreage. We’re all pastors. My estimation of these fraternal colleagues would have increased immensely if even one of them could have stepped outside, looked up, sternly pronounced, “Enough! Stop it!” and achieved some success. Alas, none of these “clout-less” clergymen even tried.
I’m heading home. It’s finally a beautiful day. The wind has tired out and shut up. High time.
In the midst of storms it’s good to remember that one day the Lord of the universe will command and all tears, all fears, all storms will be over. Finally and forever. The Cross says our Creator has the clout to get it done.
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Copyright 2017 by Curtis K. Shelburne. Permission to copy without altering text or for monetary gain is hereby granted subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.