And He awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?” Mark 4:39-41 ESV
It has been over a year now since we have entered into what some might call a global storm. One day we walked the streets freely and it seemed like in only minutes all that we knew to be normal had drastically changed. Add to all of this, the economic and political uncertainties screaming at us like a Philistine giant that this was our new normal and that life would never be the same. He bids us to come out and fight but we feel tired, we feel overwhelmed, and there may even be a part of us like Saul’s army that just wants to surrender to the new normal and live our lives like the giant has won.
Some have taken on the fight as if it is a physical one and in doing so are often adding to the chaos and fear that surrounds our day. Some have retreated and are hiding in their self created safe place in hopes that this soon will pass. But could it be that there is a different way to fight, a different way to engage, a different way to see this giant that is yelling its loud and daunting threats at us?
Could our call to action be simple trust? Could it be that we are to believe that this fight will not be won with words, but with smooth stones of obedient trust in the Unchanging character of God?
Saul’s army was afraid of the giant in the well known journey of David and Goliath, but was this about fear or was it about them not trusting God to be who He said He would be at ALL times? It is easy to talk about trust, to talk about God being reliable, but when the boat is rocking and the winds are beating strong and hard against it, do we KNOW He is reliable? Do we know we can trust Him in that moment?
The disciples had their Goliath moment as we all do in our lives at some point. At this time, we all get to look at Goliath together. The giant moment for the disciples was on a boat after a full day of ministry. Their giant moment came when a storm came out of nowhere (can you relate?), and in the midst of the giant screaming at them that they were all going to die, Jesus has a complete calm in their chaos. He is so calm that he is asleep in the same boat that is bringing torment to them. What is the difference? How can one sleep while another is frantic?
Jesus understood that this wasn’t about the storm, it was about who controlled the storm. The disciples were so overcome by the giant raging and beating against their self made safe place that they failed to see the One that was with them could not be destroyed by the storm.
In their fear, they wake up Jesus who is resting peacefully and accuse Him of not caring, or abandoning them in their place of need. He simply speaks peace to the storm. He tells the storm to become calm. It obeys. He then addresses the heart of the matter, and says to his followers, “why were you so afraid?”.
He addresses their faith issue. Their trust issue.
Today, as I am pondering this day we live in and the giant that screams loudly to our present and to our future, I hear a gentle whisper in my heart saying, “Why are you so afraid?”. Could this still, small voice be the smooth stone that is needed to slay this giant in our day? Could it be a stone of trust?
We often think the battle is physical and that we have to “do” something when maybe God is asking us rather than do, to simply believe.
Believe He is here in this moment. Believe He is the calm in the chaos. Believe that while the natural looks like we have to surrender what we have known, maybe this shaking is to lead us away from all self created safe places to a trust in the One who is our True Safe Place. Maybe it is a call to enter into His rest and to disengage from the storm, from the screams of the giant and to simply pick up the stone of trust and let this giant lose its power over us.