One day and one night
The text describes a Biblical account of a day and night in the life of Christ.
I’m not trying to turn off readers who don’t believe the Bible or have no interest in spiritual things.
But … if you’ll stick with me for a few minutes, I think you’ll understand how this story makes sense to a pandemic-weary nation … no, world.
Scripture finds Jesus trying to escape the relentless and intense pressure of the multitudes pressing around him as He teaches and preaches. He is flat-out exhausted.
I watched with compassion this week as the now-famous Dr. Anthony Fauci detailed his 20-hour days.
I thought about President Trump, wondering if he was able to even get 4 hours to rest.
Such pressure takes its toll on body, mind and spirit. You can become weary quickly.
That was the case with Jesus.
Thousands crushed around him. He had no escape to a TV Studio, no livestreams or podcasts… He was constantly bombarded by P-E-O-P-L-E.
Interesting how transparently Scripture expresses the account of the disciples taking Jesus on a ship to “go to the other side” and give Him a chance to rest.
It says, “They took him along, just as he was.”
No packing. No special arrangements. No fancy quarters.
Jesus settled in the back of the boat.
With no bed, only a pillow, He was finally able to sleep.
Not exactly restful
His travel coordinator was apparently unaware of the weather forecast.
During the night a great storm arose, tossing the boat like a cork, dashing it with such waves of water that “it was nearly swamped.”
People on the boat became alarmed.
That ship was really taking on water!
There seemed an imminent danger they might die.
Like our situation?
Figuratively, that’s today’s situation.
A perilous storm of virus is making frightening waves on the ocean of life. Already nearly 10,000 are dead. By the time you read this that number will significantly increase.
This is a Pandemic of global proportions!
I’m sure there were more passengers on this boat than Jesus and His disciples.
Likely some of the frightened passengers were unaware that their “precious cargo” was the Savior of mankind.
But the Bible indicates that fear even gripped Christ’s disciples.
The storm beat the waters around Him, but didn’t disturb His sleep:
“Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion.”
Just like the Virus is crashing into our lives
Today, the “Virus” has the waves crashing into our lives.
Many are fearful, many are suffering.
Like Christ’s disciples, people everywhere — even Christians — are beginning to look upon those who are at peace in the midst of the storm as either crazy or uncaring.
Go, Wake up God
Wake God up! Confront Him!
The disciples ask: “Master, carest thou not that we perish?”
Jesus was asleep, but what about His Heavenly Father?
What about OUR Storm?
We’re in a dreadful storm, a pandemic!
Today, nearly 10,000 Americans have died from this evil virus.
We’re scrambling, searching everywhere for help.
Much like the disciples in this Scripture, many are asking God:
“Master, carest thou not that we perish?”
He’s NOT asleep.
I need to remind you, the God of Heaven isn’t asleep.
Psalm 121 assures us:
“I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip — he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.”
It may have been the “midst” of the storm, but most likely it was also in the “middle” of Jesus’ rest.
But … but aware of the situation and their fear… Jesus responds.
God knows exactly what to do.
“He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!”
Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
Fantastic! Isn’t that what we want?
In the midst of the storm … ”Quiet! Be still” and the turbulence of the pandemic is silenced.
Believers aren’t exempt.
Believers in Jesus Christ and His Heavenly Father are not exempt from the pressures of the present travail.
But in the midst of our storm, the Savior of mankind is aware of what’s going on.
He hears the cries of His people just as He heard His disciples.
Peace, be still.
The King James version of the Bible says Jesus rebuked the storm saying, “Peace, be still.”
I would say He was speaking to both His disciples and the waves of the sea.
He is in control! Peace, be still.
The storm was silenced
Can you imagine how relieved the disciples must have been?
They feared dying at sea.
The boat was so full of water it nearly sank.
The winds had tossed them to and fro.
But with three simple words from the “Master,” the calm returned.
Relieved? Not exactly.
Relief wasn’t exactly their reaction.
Jesus looked at the disciples, who had disturbed His well-deserved rest and asked a poignant question,
“Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
Sudden calm came across the waters that just moments earlier threatened the boat… miraculous, amazing, incredible… calm.
What did the disciples say?
Could they ever stop praising Christ for His miracle of calming the stormy seas?
“They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this?
Even the wind and the waves obey him!”” “Who is this?”
It’s only “Jesus” that the multitudes had followed … the guy they took aboard the ship “just as He was.”
It wasn’t that the disciples didn’t know Him or who He was.
Put Jesus in Times Square today.
Our country is bobbing like a cork in the proverbial tempest as we struggle against the pandemic.
You are hearing, seeing and reading about all sorts of strange calls for our deliverance.
Not from God, but from science.
Not from God, but from politicians.
Some say “wear a mask,” others say “save masks for people who need them.”
Some say “social distancing” will flatten the curve.
But what does Jesus say?
But NOBODY can simply say, “Peace, be still” and the pandemic is silenced.
Put Jesus in Times Square today.
The storm there is also raging.
Perhaps He would utter the same 3 words. “Peace, Be still.”
Maybe He would. Maybe He wouldn’t.
This is a challenge to our faith.
The world has no knowledge or relationship with the “Sovereign God.”
Few individuals have true faith.
Even some who do are becoming weary and frightened just like the disciples in the ship.
There is a purpose in this pandemic.
Perhaps there are multiple purposes.
I cannot help but believe that in the midst of this Satan-driven pandemic, God would be pleased to hear the prayer of even one human soul who realizes their need of faith and forgiveness and would pray to the Lord for salvation.
Long ago, the nation of Israel was being taken off into Babylon because the people had turned away from God.
In the midst of their crying out for relief from this “pandemic.” God said this to Jeremiah.
“Yes, this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “Do not let the prophets and diviners among you deceive you.
Do not listen to the dreams you encourage them to have.
They are prophesying lies to you in my name. I have not sent them,” declares the Lord.
This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.
I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”
But what about “our” pandemic?
We worry this pandemic will last seventy days, much less seventy years!
If God uttered “Peace, Be still” and instantly the virus died, the airwaves and Internet would burn up with people claiming they brought us the cure.
Our President hasn’t yielded his pagan authority yet, to simply admit God-alone can quiet the storm with “3 words in Times Square.”
Man isn’t searching for God.
Actually, seem angry than are seeking to draw close to Him.
Sometimes it takes man a long time to realize just how far he has drifted away from God.
Sometimes it takes captivity, famine, flood or pandemic to realize that God “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
God is aware
My friends, Christ is aware of our storm.
He asks you and me as He did His disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
God is patient.
He is not willing that any should perish.
He desires that all would come to repentance in faith.
God will cure the virus.
Understand that God alone will cure the virus.
It will be by His wisdom and power through a mortal man, who himself may not believe God, but will use their God-given gifts to find an earthly cure.
God is the healer by whatever means or man He chooses.
“Carest thou not that we perish?”
“Carest thou not that we perish?” Foolish question.
Of course He cares and patiently waits to receive those who in faith will “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ… and be saved.”