26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. (Matthew 8:26, NIV)
Have you ever seen a storm appear out of nowhere? One minute it’s a beautiful day, and the next the sky is dark and boiling. That’s what happened to the disciples in these verses. I’m guessing that the disciples didn’t have “shipwrecked” on their to-do list that day, but that’s what they were facing. They’re in a boat, rowing the five miles or so to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, and a storm breaks over the water.
But this storm wasn’t your off-brand rain and clouds; this storm packed a punch. The Greek word that Matthew uses to describe this storm is seismos. If that sounds familiar, that’s the same root word where we get the word “seismic,” like the seismic shift of an earthquake. It’s a shaking, a physical unsettling beneath you. It’s the same word that Matthew used later on to describe the earthquake as the angel rolled back the stone from Jesus’ tomb. There’s unbelievable power in this word.
In the boat with the disciples, Jesus calmed the storm. “Peace… be still.” At the tomb after the earthquake, the angel told the two women that their Savior is alive. When all hope seemed lost and their worlds were shaken, that’s when God moved in close to them. In both of these places, the people closest to Jesus were told, “Don’t be afraid.”
One of the easiest times to feel fear is when our worlds are shaken, when we’re not sure how this is all going to end. That’s the same place the disciples were in these verses. The storms of life are real and they threaten to wreck us if we let them, but peace is what Jesus speaks over us. Peace in our work. Peace in our homes. Peace in the middle of massive uncertainty. Peace in the shaking of whatever you’re standing on in life right now. Peace.
We look for peace because of what Jesus promised us in John 13,
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
May you have peace in your storm today. May you feel Jesus move in close during whatever’s shaking your world. May His peace calm your storms and draw you closer to Him.