The howling wind whips up ocean whitecaps visible from my apartment in Sitka, Alaska, where I am an interim pastor. The sound of the waves crashing on the beach serenades the writing of this article. The words of Christ come to mind: “Peace, be still.”
The story is found in Mark chapter 4. Jesus and His disciples are on the beach. As He begins to teach, a large crowd gathers to listen. Jesus gets into a boat, pushes out from shore and teaches the people. As evening comes, He says to the disciples, “Let us cross over to the other side.” Exhausted, Jesus sleeps in the back of the boat. Suddenly a storm strikes, and the disciples battle the raging seas. Fearing for their lives, they wake Jesus. “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”
“Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace, be still!’ And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.”
Two lessons of encouragement jump out at me from this story. First, the disciples encountered the storm by following Jesus. Jesus had told them to cross the sea. Likewise for modern disciples of Christ, following Jesus does not mean that there will always be smooth sailing. We should expect storms.
The second lesson is the power of Christ to calm the storm. Two great hymns come to mind, Does Jesus Care? and Peace Be Still. The disciples were beside themselves with fear. “Lord, carest thou not that we perish?” Jesus calmly stood up and rebuked the wind and waves. This same Jesus has power to bring peace to chaotic hearts and troubled minds today.
Jesus later told His disciples, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
Duang and I desire to take the story of Jesus and the peace, purpose, hope and joy we find in Him to the people of southern Thailand. In order for this to be possible, we need monthly sponsors. To qualify for training this summer, we need 70 percent of our monthly pledge goal fulfilled by the end of March. We are appealing to you for support. Will you please pray and ask God whether He is prompting you to make a monthly pledge for the sake of the unreached Southern Thai? By faith, and with your support, we will soon be off to Thailand with the good news of the peace found in knowing Christ.