Intro: Some things in life have the ability to send us quickly into a state of panic—a sense of terror, danger, and body-numbing fear. Life can be so unpredictable and that leaves human emotions susceptible to fear. In fact, only those who have a relationship with Christ can cast down that kind of fear when it rises up in human emotions. Jesus is the Prince of Peace we all need as we live in this chaotic world!
When I think about the people of Lahaina, Hawaii, as they dealt with the wildfires ravaging the island and coastline last week, it must have been so terrifying for everyone. I read that many people tried to use their garden hoses to fight back the flames, but with very little water pressure they had no chance of subduing or extinguishing the fiery flames approaching their homes. In praying for them and their recovery, I pray the people reach for the Peace and Comfort of Almighty God to get them through this long and emotionally painful process.
I saw a photo in the Washington Post of the charred remains of Lahaina and above the Pu’u Kukui mountains there was a rainbow in the sky—God’s sign and promise. According to Genesis 9:16, after the flood of judgment, God said to Noah, “I am giving you a sign of my covenant with you and with all living creatures, for all generations to come. I have placed my rainbow in the clouds. I will remember my promise…” Fear [awe and respect] of God is the way into successful living while we are in this shakable world.
In our passage today from the Gospel of Matthew, the disciples find themselves in a state of panic and terror; they fear death. Jesus and the disciples are in a boat [powered by sails and oars] when a terrible storm rolls across the Sea of Galilee. Twelve disciples with oars have no chance to outrun any storm. Jesus is in the boat sleeping peacefully; however, the disciples are filled with fear. What do they do? They wake up Messiah and they learn a whole more about his power to protect!
Matthew 8:23-27 NLT Jesus Calms the Storm
23 Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with his disciples. 24 Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”
26 Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm.
27 The disciples were amazed. “Who is this man?” they asked. “Even the winds and waves obey him!”
Prayer: Lord, thank you for being the calm for our storms, because life is unpredictable and you are the only One who can protect us and help us prepare for each day. Be our Peace. Be our Comfort. And, Lord, help us to share who you are in our lives, so others will choose to call for your protection and salvation, as well. In Jesus’ name. Amen.