wave crashing on the ocean

His Provision: Be still

Late that day he said to them, “Let’s go across to the other side.” They took him in the boat as he was. Other boats came along. A huge storm came up. Waves poured into the boat, threatening to sink it. And Jesus was in the stern, head on a pillow, sleeping! They roused him, saying, “Teacher, is it nothing to you that we’re going down?”

Awake now, he told the wind to pipe down and said to the sea, “Quiet! Settle down!” The wind ran out of breath; the sea became smooth as glass. Jesus reprimanded the disciples: “Why are you such cowards? Don’t you have any faith at all?”

They were in absolute awe, staggered. “Who is this, anyway?” they asked. “Wind and sea at his beck and call!” (Mark 4: 35-41).

I love the ocean. I love the beauty and the majesty of it all. When I have the chance, I enjoy going down to the water and taking a walk by the shore. To make my way down the sand, find a place to sit and quietly listen to the sound of the waves, to watch them lap up on the shore. I love to smell the salt air and watch the sunshine on the water so beautifully; it is hard to explain to someone the sheer majesty. For me, it is a calming place. It is a sanctuary for me. On a nice sunny day, to sit in the sand, watch and listen to the waves, and to be pulled into a quiet and still place. I love it.

However, at a moment’s notice, all of that can change. The winds come, and the waves begin to swell, the sound is no longer peaceful, the view is no longer calming. It can become frightening and loud, waves swelling up and crashing down as if it were looking for something to destroy.  

The disciples in the boat were listening to Jesus during the day. They followed him, listening to his teachings. When they came to the lake that evening, the lake was calm, they were calm. As the night came, the storm appeared, and the disciples were panicking. Everyone is bailing out the boat, hoping not to sink and Jesus slept through it all. They were panicking, fear set in and Jesus was asleep. They hurried and woke him up asking “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?” Jesus wakes and simply asks the storm to calm. The wind stops the waves cease and all is well. His only question to the disciples was, “Why are you afraid, do you still have no faith?”

Do you ever feel that way? One moment you are sitting on the shore, watching the waves calm and peaceful, and the next minute your life is full of turmoil? The winds come, the waves crash all around you and you feel as if you will drown? No one around to help you, no one to calm the storm. It comes down to this—faith. If we want the storms of our life to calm, then we must have faith in the one who calms those very storms.

Just as the disciples cried out to Jesus, so can you.  No matter if you are at a point of calm and peace in your life, he still remains in the calm. If you are at a place where the waves are beginning to swell, and you are uncertain what it holds, have faith, God is there. Perhaps you are at a place where the waves are beginning to rock the boat you are on, you are taking on water, have faith, God is there. Maybe you are even at a place where your boat is rocking so violently that you are having to hold on for dear life for fear that you will go overboard and drown, have faith, God is there.

God knows your circumstances, he knows your heart. Even though it may feel at times that he is far from you, he remains with you in even the darkest nights and fiercest storms of your life. He is here, you only need to call on his name.

The Lord commanded the water that day and said peace, be still. He can do that in your life as well. You can sit at the water’s edge, while Christ is drawing you into a peaceful and calm place, to a place of stillness in him. Have faith in the God who loves today. Have peace and be still in him.

Read the words of Salvation Army Song #353, “Be Still for the Presence of the Lord.”

Be still, for the presence of the Lord,
The Holy One is here;
Come bow before him now
With reverence and fear.

In him, no sin is found
We stand on holy ground.
Be still, for the presence of the Lord,
The Holy One is here.

Be still, for the glory of the Lord
Is shining all around;
He burns with holy fire,
With splendor, he is crowned—

How awesome is the sight
Our radiant king of light!
Be still, for the glory of the Lord
Is shining all around.

Be still, for the power of the Lord
Is moving in this place:
He comes to cleanse and heal,
To minister his grace—

No work too hard for him.
In faith receive from him.
Be still, for the power of the Lord
Is moving in this place.

Do Good:

  • Pick a Scripture study to follow this week and read one part each day for the next four days. On the fifth day, send it to someone you think would also benefit from it.
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  • Did you know The Salvation Army served more than 23 million Americans last year fighting hunger, homelessness, substance abuse and more—all in a fight for good? Where can you help? Take our quiz to find your cause and learn how you can join in today.
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Colleen Riley, Commissioner

Commissioner Colleen Riley is the USA Western Territorial President of Women’s Ministries and Secretary of Spiritual Life Development.