We have heard the story again and again of how Jesus and his disciples, riding upon the Sea of Galilee, encountered a terrible storm. Jesus was sleeping and the disciples, fearful for their lives, awakened him. His wonderful words to the winds, "Peace be still," have echoed throughout history. (Mark 4:39)
"Jesus, don't you care if we perish?" they cried. And of course, Jesus cared. It was a foolish question, but again and again today we ask God the same question. We frantically try to communicate to God our panic and our fears. "What a terrible world we live in!"
We think God ought to be more concerned than he is. But instead of rushing to communicate our fears to him, we ought to allow him to communicate his calm to us.
Mark tells us, "And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm." What a beautiful miracle on the Sea of Galilee, and how descriptive of what does take place when God enters our distraught lives.
In Noel Coward's play "Design for Living," he tells the story of sordid and trivial lives, and one character has a lucid moment when he complains that with all the inventions and advances of our present age, nothing had been invented to "create quiet and calm."
And with pills and drugs, and alcohol, there are many who try to simulate that kind of invention, but with distressing results.
There are resources available. When Christ is in your ship, great peace can come. Paul said, "I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and want." (Philippians 4:12)
Why are we afraid? The knowledge that the world is in the hands of God, and that my life is lived with the almighty, whose will for it is totally good, is the most liberating thought I can have.
Today's world is filled with plenty of storms and tragic moments, but there is a "peace be still" that flows through my world, like a beautiful anthem. I'm going to try to listen for it. How about you?
Francis Guither, a pastor for 46 years, is the author of seven books. Guither is retired and lives in Quincy at Good Samaritan Home with his wife Katharine. His most recent church was Carthage United Methodist.