"How sweet are thy words unto my taste!
yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth."

~Psalm 119:103

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

"Peace, Be Still"
(Mark 4:39)

One of my favorite stories of Jesus is found in Mark 4. He and some of His disciples have boarded a ship to cross the Sea of Galilee. Jesus is sleeping when a great storm arises. Fearful of the possible outcome, the disciples wake Jesus, asking with anxiousness, "Master, carest thou not that we perish?"

Jesus arises and rebukes the wind with the command "Peace, be still." The wind ceases, and a calmness settles over the water - and over the disciples.

Pacific Ocean. December 2011.

According to the Bible Dictionary, miracles are "an important element in the work of Jesus Christ, being not only divine acts, but forming also a part of the divine teaching." This point is beautifully illustrated by Jesus's calming of the sea - for not only can He calm the water but also He can calm our troubled hearts, our agitated minds, our tempestuous lives.

In 1874, Mary Ann Baker penned the words to the still-popular hymn "Master, the Tempest is Raging" following a period of tumult in her own life after the death of her brother. She said:
I became wickedly rebellious at this dispensation of divine providence. I said in my heart that God did not care for me or mine. But the Master’s own voice stilled the tempest in my unsanctified heart, and brought it to the calm of a deeper faith and a more perfect trust.
As the refrain of the hymn wonderfully asserts:
Whether the wrath of the storm-tossed sea
Or demons or men or whatever it be,
No waters can swallow the ship where lies
The Master of ocean and earth and skies.
They all shall sweetly obey my will.
Peace, be still! Peace, be still!
What a promise it is that no waters can swallow the ship - or hinder a goal or destroy a family or overcome a faith - in which Jesus is present!

"Be still, and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10).

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