It was late afternoon when Jesus invited His disciples to cross to the other side of the lake. Upon entering the boat, Jesus lay down at the stern and rested there. As they crossed, a strong storm overcame the boat, leaving the disciples stunned and filled with worry. Unable to see a way out, they awoke Jesus and pleaded for help. Without hesitation, Christ calmed the storm and then admonished His disciples for their wavering faith.
When we read this story, we often draw the lesson that our faith, like that of the disciples, isn’t even the size of a mustard seed, is it? But today, I want to talk about the other side of the lesson that Jesus taught during this scene. While the disciples were desperate and anxious during the great storm, Christ rested in peace on that boat; and that is what I want us to think about—His peace. I believe that this episode was recorded not only to teach us about faith but also to make us reflect on the peaceful rest that Jesus experienced while going through the storm.
When it comes to peace, the world hopes that wars will cease, diseases will no longer exist, abuse won’t be part of reality, and that hunger will disappear from the continents. But Christ leaves us a different lesson.
Almost 2 years ago, I moved to an unfamiliar country to pursue what I believed was right. When I was about to complete my first year away from home, a big storm overcame my little boat. At that moment, I completely lost my peace and let myself be carried away by worries. I found myself questioning the purpose that God had prepared for me.
But then a reminder came to me:
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.John 14:27
And then, something happened; I understood that even when I am on the right path in the eyes of the Heavenly Father, I will still experience great storms. God will not always spare me from problems nor from trials because that is not how I will experience His peace. It was then that I noticed that the peace that must reign over us is not one that frees us from problems, but one in which our hearts rest in the midst of the storm.
During those moments at sea with His disciples, Jesus made clear that the peace that the world offers is peace without roots, a raging sea without a point of tranquility, but when we seek the peace of God, our bodies, our minds, and our hearts rest in the midst of the storm. Our dear sister, Ellen G. White, tells us:
It is peace that you need—Heaven’s forgiveness and peace and love in the soul. Money cannot buy it, intellect cannot procure it, wisdom cannot attain to it; you can never hope, by your own efforts, to secure it. But God offers it to you as a gift…Steps to Christ, p. 49
Dear reader, in the midst of our struggles we are often tempted to think that Christ is not beside us, that if He were, we would not be experiencing such difficulties. But in the verse we read in John Jesus shows us that the peace that He gives us is not the absence of troubles, but it is what helps us through the difficulties we will face. The idea that Christians will never experience fear, anguish, mourning, and afflictions is a myth. We will experience these things, sometimes worse. But Christ offers something that no one can offer, the peace and joy that comes from heaven. And today, in the midst of everything that is going on, my prayer is that our Heavenly Father will show you that even in the midst of the storm, you can rest!
He who rested on a small boat in the middle of the raging sea and calmed the storm without hesitation offers you a peace that allows you to rest in the midst of the afflictions of this world.